A Singaporean tourist sentenced to 21 months' prison for
causing a fatal head-on collision by trying to overtake a
truck on double yellow lines last month has successfully
appealed his sentence and will instead spend nine months on
Kok Wei Ko (26), an engineer, was sentenced to prison by
Judge Stephen O'Driscoll in the Dunedin District Court
earlier this month.
Ko appealed the sentence and his appeal was this week allowed
by High Court judge Justice Graham Panckhurst, who replaced
it with a sentence of nine months' home detention and 200
hours' community work.
Justice Panckhurst confirmed the new sentence this week,
although his reasoning was not available immediately.
Ko was travelling north on State Highway 1 with three friends
when he tried to pass the truck near Kuriwao, east of
Clinton, on November 13.
Ko's car crashed head-on into a southbound car, killing the
passenger, Neville Squires (82), of Riverton, and badly
injuring the driver.
The three passengers in Ko's car were seriously injured.
Mr Squires' daughter, Michelle Squires, sustained a leg
fracture, a sprained wrist and a fractured rib which
punctured a lung, and Ko's three passengers had injuries
ranging from a lacerated pancreas, foot and spine fractures
and a dislocated hip and leg injuries.
Ko was sentenced in the Dunedin District Court on December 6
on one charge of dangerous driving causing death and four of
dangerous driving causing injury, charges which carry maximum
jail terms of 10 years and five years respectively.
Judge O'Driscoll sentenced Ko to 21 months' jail, with an
order for $18,000 emotional harm reparation and a two and
a-half year driving disqualification.
He said prison was appropriate because of the need for
accountability and denunciation, the seriousness of the
offending and the high level of culpability, and rejected
consideration of a sentence of home detention.
The fact a person had been killed and four injured could not
be ignored, he said.
Home detention would not be an adequate penalty, given the
seriousness of the offending and the consequences, including
The reparation and disqualification orders stand under the