A trailer lorry driver whose reckless driving caused the deaths of six people in a tragic accident on the North-South Expressway last year was today sentenced to five years’ jail. (Pix by ASYRAF HAMZAH)

KUALA KUBU BARU: The families of six people who perished in a tragic accident on the North-South Expressway last year have finally found the justice they had so craved.

The magistrate’s court here sentenced a former trailer lorry driver to five years’ jail and a fine of RM10,000, in default 12 months’ imprisonment.

Four relatives of the six, who sat at the public gallery during proceedings, had to hold back their tears when Sessions judged Zulhelmy Hasan, who acted as magistrate, meted out the sentence against Muhammad Syahrul Nizam Anuar.

“I found that the prosecution had proved its case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt. he court has taken into consideration this is Syahrul Nizam’s first offence, and that the crime was of public interest," he said.

Clad in a blue shirt and jeans, Syahrul Nizam was calm and tried to cover his face with his wife’s handbag when newsmen approached him at the court’s entrance upon his arrival about 10.30am.

The father of one was charged with causing the deaths of Lam Wai Loon, 46; Wong Check Lee, 53; Lam Jie Yang, 19; Lam Jie Yong, 13; Lam Leong Choy, 76; Lam Wai Keat, 38; by reckless driving.

He was alleged to have been speeding at Km403.2 of the NSE at 7.46am on April 2, when the collision occurred.

His charge, under Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987, carried a jail term of between two and 10 years, and a fine of between RM5,000 and RM20,000, upon convicted.

Prior to sentencing, deputy public prosecutor Khairulazhwa Yusrie Mohamad argued that the involved public interest and the sentence should serve as a deterrent for others.

Syahrul Nizam’s lawyer, L. Raj, pleaded for a lenient sentence, saying that it was his client’s first offence.

“My client is also the sole breadwinner for his family and has to support his parents,” he said.

The court then allowed a stay of execution and set bail at RM50,000 in one surety pending appeal.

Meanwhile, lawyer Thomas Chin, who held a watching brief for the family of the victims, said the family would continue to monitor the development of the case.

“We are relieved that there is some degree of closure for this case,” he said.

Leong Choy’s 73-year-old widow, Ng Siew Yin, burst into tears outside the courtroom when met by journalists.

She said the sentence was not enough to compensate the loss she suffered from the incident.

In the incident near the Tanjung Malim toll plaza, the trailer lorry driven by Syahrul Nizam was reported to have skidded and crashed into the multi-purpose vehicle that the victims were in.

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