HKSAR v. LAM MEI LIN

FAMC000013/1998

FAMC No. 13 of 1998

IN THE COURT OF FINAL APPEAL OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

MISCELLANEOUS PROCEEDINGS NO. 13 OF 1998 (CRIMINAL)

(ON APPLICATION FOR LEAVE TO APPEAL

FROM MAGISTRACY APPEAL NO. 1099 OF 1997)

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Between:
LAM MEI LIN Applicant
AND
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION Respondent

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Appeal Committee: Chief Justice Li, Mr Justice Litton PJ, Mr Justice Ching PJ

Date of Hearing: 20 October 1998

Date of Determination: 5 November 1998

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D E T E R M I N A T I O N

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Mr Justice Ching PJ:

1. This is an application for leave to appeal to the Court of Final Appeal against a conviction for careless driving. The applicantis a bus driver who at the date of the offence had been driving route 298 for a period of four years. She was found to have beendriving along the left hand lane along the Tseung Kwan O Road. If she had continued in that lane she would have gone onto the KaiTin Road rather than to her destination at Lam Tin. She was found to have turned into the next lane over an area of hatched markingson the road and collided with a private car in that lane and with a safety island on the left.

2. She has put forward no less than 11 points to show that a substantial and grave injustice has been done to her. Eight were in herwritten application for leave and three were added orally at the hearing. These included whether her bus struck the car or whetherit was the other way around. The question, however, was the manner of her driving. Others were an allegation that the driver of theprivate car had attempted to flee the scene, arguments as to whether the Magistrate was justified in accepting the evidence of theprosecution and rejecting hers. Two of the points (added at the hearing) related to the incompleteness of the transcript and thatshe was supplied with two versions of the audio recordings which were not identical but these points could not in any event haveaffected the proceedings before the Magistrate who heard the witnesses. The basis of her case is that she was very familiar withthe route so that she would never have driven on the left hand lane which would have taken her away from her destination. The driverof the private car and two passengers in the bus did put her upon that lane. One of the passengers said that she swerved into thelane on her right, so did the driver of the private car. The Magistrate was fully justified in accepting their evidence. It may havebeen inherently improbable that the applicant, an experienced bus driver, would have found herself driving in the wrong lane. Theversion she gave ? of the car somehow driving into the side of her bus on a clear road ? was equally improbable. These were mattersthe Magistrate had weighed.

3. The applicant has not shown that it is in any way arguable that a substantial and grave injustice may have occurred and this applicationis dismissed.

(Andrew Li) (Henry Litton) (Charles Ching)
Chief Justice Permanent Judge Permanent Judge

Representation:

Ms. LAM Mei-lin, Applicant, in person.

Mr. D.G. SAW, S.C., SADPP and Mr. Johnny CHAN, SGC of Department of Justice for Respondent.