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Ex-tanker driver elated with decision after seven years

IT’S OVER … Pauleh (right) with Ram yesterday.

14th November, 2017

KOTA KINABALU: A former oil tanker driver, who has been punished for his involvement in a collision with a train at Jalan Kepayan about seven years ago, was elated yesterday after the Court of Appeal ruled in his favour.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the prosecution’s appeal against Pauleh Dansun’s sentence of three months’ jail on two charges of endangering the lives of train passengers through negligence.

The three-panel Bench comprising Datuk David Wong Dak Wah, Dato’ Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim and Datuk Yeoh Wee Siam made the unanimous decision after hearing both parties’ arguments.

The court held that the High Court was correct in substituting Paule’s sentence to three months on July 28, 2016. Pauleh, 47, was on May 16, 2014, found guilty by the lower court and sentenced to a total of one year and six months’ jail.

He received six months for negligently causing hurt by an act which endangered the lives of the train passengers, namely to Asneh Papang, Norfaisma Ismail, Norafidah Jalani, Joseph Kulip, Bibiana Mojulat and Sapiah Masri aged between 20 and 64, on Oct 31, 2011 between 5.30pm and 5.45pm in front of a fuel station, Km 8, Jalan Kepayan.

He was convicted under Section 337 of the Penal Code which provides for a maximum six months’ jail or a fine or both, upon conviction.

On the second charge of negligently causing grievous hurt by an act which endangered the lives of the train passengers, namely to Rahmah Rahmat and Rauziah Ramli during the collision between the lorry and the train at the same time and place, he received another one year’s jail.

The second charge against Pauleh was framed under Section 338 of the Penal Code which carries a jail term of up to two years or a fine or both, upon conviction.

The High Court had on July 28, 2016 dismissed Pauleh’s appeal against the conviction but allowed his appeal against his sentence.

The sentence imposed by the Magistrate’s Court is to be set aside and substituted with an imprisonment sentence of three months for both offences and to be run concurrently.

The prosecution’s cross appeal against the sentence was dismissed. On June 17, 2013, Pauleh was freed by the lower court without being called to enter his defence, as the trial judge ruled that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against him.

However, the prosecution appealed to the High Court against the acquittal and the appeal was allowed. Pauleh was ordered to enter his defence on the two charges.

Earlier, DPP Mohd Zain Ibrahim, among others submitted that the High Court had erred in law in reducing the sentence to three months.

He pointed out that there was a collision where several passengers were hurt and two others seriously injured. He also urged the sentence to be reinstated.

Meanwhile, counsel Ram Singh who represented Pauleh, among others, submitted that the learned Judicial Commisioners has considered other facts that had contributed to the collision, instead of solely putting the blame on Pauleh.

He also submitted that the investigation officer had carried out investigations on the collision and based on his investigation, the billboard had obstructed Pauleh’s view.

Ram also told the court that Pauleh had served three months’ jail from Sept 29, 2016 and was released on Nov 29, 2016.

Pauleh was elated with the decision ‘after seven long years’.

“I am thankful that this is finally over,” he told reporters. Asked about his plan, Pauleh who is currently unemployed did not respond.

He just calmly said: “Syukur, selesai sudah (I am thankful…it is over).” – ECA

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