Bokhary drive ban extended1
: GS(14)@2011-01-15 15:18:55http://www.thestandard.com.hk/ne ... d=106977&con_type=1
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Cop slapper Amina Bokhary has been banned from driving for two more years for refusing a breathalyzer test, but avoided a heavier custodial sentence that prosecutors were seeking.
Bokhary, 34, was earlier fined HK$5,000 and disqualified from driving for a year for the offense.
After the Department of Justice sought a review, the Court of Appeal handed down the sentence yesterday after a two-hour hearing. Justices Robert Tang Ching, Frank Stock and Wally Yeung Chun-kuen will give a written judgment later.
Bokhary, niece of Court of Final Appeal judge Kemal Bokhary, had also been previously convicted of assaulting a police officer and put on probation in relation to the same incident on January 27 last year.
The light sentence sparked public outrage, especially as it was her third conviction for assaulting an officer.
Bokhary, who is serving six weeks in jail for breaching the probation order, remained expressionless throughout most of the hearing. She managed a smile to the public gallery before being taken away. Her parents, who were seen frequently visiting her in Tai Lam Centre for Women, were not in court.
Deputy director of prosecutions Kevin Zervos said the court should take it seriously when someone refuses a breathalyzer test after being suspected of drink-driving.
Zervos said the maximum sentence has increased from three months in jail to two years for a first offender to reflect its seriousness. Those refusing to take a breathalyzer test are trying to avoid the consequences of drink driving, Zervos argued. He added there were aggravating factors such as Bokhary trying to leave the scene and slapping a police officer.
Peter Duncan, for Bokhary, argued that her behavior was a reaction to shock from the car crash. He also said the trial magistrate had considered all mitigating factors.