Fined for causing cyclist’s death

Fined for causing cyclist’s death

Friday, July 12, 2002: The Straits Times

Banker beat red light and hit a man riding his bicycle at a pedestrian crossing on July 17 last year. He is fined $10,000.

A German banker who hit and killed a cyclist while driving was slapped with the maximum fine yesterday. He had been trying to bet a red light when the accident happened.

Walter Alfred Heinz Fuchs, 43, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of causing the man’s death through a negligent act. He was given a $10,000 fine and banned from driving for six years.

He was originally charged with causing death by dangerous driving, which carries a jail term of up to five years.

The head of Hypo Vereinsbank’s treasury in Singapore admitted that he had failed to keep a proper lookout when he hit Mr. Chan Ah Soo, 75, on July 17 last year.

In court yesterday, Fuchs, who was dressed in a suit, folded his arms just before being sentenced.

Before District Judge Adrian Soon handed down the sentence, he asked the banker to put down his hands.

The court heard that Fuchs was driving a rented Rover along Upper Cross Street at 10.15 pm that night.

He beat the red lights and hit Mr Chan, who was riding his bicycle at the pedestrian crossing.

The crossing lights were in the cyclist’s favor and he was believed to be on his way to his home in York Hill, off Chin Swee Road. He was thrown off his bicycle on impact and died on the spot.

Fuchs’ lawyer, Senior Counsel R. Palakrishnan, said in mitigation that his client, who is married with two children, had an unblemished driving record.

His client, he said, came to Singapore in September 2000 to be executive director of the German bank.

In February last year, he became the top man in charge of the bank’s treasury as well as market and liquidity risks in Asia.

Mr Palakrishnan said that Fuchs, who has been driving for 20 years, suffered trauma after the accident and was still undergoing counseling.

He added that the cyclist should not have used the pedestrian crossing to ride across the five-lane road, and so was wrong to an extent.

Urging the court to impose a “minimal fine”, he said this was a case of “momentary inattention or misjudgment.”

Murder accused deported from Paris to S’pore

After spending time in French jail for drug offence, he will face law here

Murder suspect Robson Teik Chai, 36, fled Singapore two years ago to escape a police manhunt – and ended up spending two years in a French jail.

On Tuesday, he was out of jail, put on an Air France flight and flown home, where a police escort was waiting for him at Changi Airport.

He is wanted for the murder of an odd job labourer-cum-loan shark runner that happened on May 17, 2000.

Mr Leong Weng Fook, 36, was found clad only in his underwear, with stab wounds to his chest, in a vacant plot of land near a cemetary at Kheam Rock Road.

He had been at a wake at Upper Boon Keng Road earlier, and had left in a Mitsubishi Lancer with a few others.

Police, after interviewing 150 people, narrowed their list of suspects to Tay and two other men. They splashed photographs of Tay and his two alleged accomplices in the newspapers on June 2 that year.

Although Tay escaped their clutches, he ran into the arms of the French police at Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris three months later in August – not for murder, but drug trafficking.

His alleged accomplice, See Chee Keong, 35, suffered the same fate.

He too had fled, and was arrested at an airport in Cambodia in December 2000, with 5 kg of heroin on him. He is now doing time there.

The third man, Ong Chin Huat, 39, is still at large.

Police arrested Soh Tan Huat, now 21, within two weeks of the murder and charged him with the killing. He was later given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal, which means he can be charged in future if need be.

Tay, who made his way to Paris from Amsterdam, Holland, on his Singapore passport, was found with 5 kg of cocaine on him.

This would have attracted the death penalty if we has caught here, but as it was, he served time at the Villepinte Prison in the Bobigny district of Paris, according to The New Paper.

The Singapore Embassy in Paris alerted police here about his case, but the complication was that Singapore had no extradition treaty with France.

The problem was still not resolved even after officers from the Criminal Investigation Department flew to Paris in July last year to discuss the matter.

Under French law, Tay had a right to go any country he wished to after his release.

He wanted to go to Holland, but the Dutch government said no.

The French authorities eventually agreed to deport him here after his release on Tuesday. By which time, Tay, who was slim and had short hair based on his photograph of two years ago, had filled out considerably and was sporting long, wavy locks.

Stabbed

Mr Leong, 36, was found clad in only his underwear, with stab wounds to his chest, in a vacant plot of land near a cemetery at Kheam Hock Road on May 17, 2000.