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Jailed Filipino resident fails in bid to get back to driving soon

13 July 2021

By The SUN

Ramos failed to appeal on time against his driving disqualification

A move by a Filipino recidivist to appeal out of time his 12-month driving disqualification imposed after he admitted stealing a motorcycle, then drove it without a license and third-party insurance in July last year, has been rejected at the High Court.

In his grounds for appeal, applicant Fredjewell A. Ramos Jr asked the court to give back his license by September, his expected release from jail, so he could work as a driver to support his family.


But Justice Andrew Macrae said in a written judgment today, Jul 13, that Ramos’ wish could not amount to a special reason that would justify cutting short his driving disqualification.

“There is no reasonably arguable ground of appeal that the applicant should not have been disqualified,” Macrae said, adding that District Judge Timothy H. Casewell “was obliged under the law to order disqualification for at least 12 months.”

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In sentencing, Casewell noted that Ramos had previously appeared before the courts on no less than 18 occasions and had several convictions for theft.

This included one in 2017 for driving away with a stolen vehicle, for which he drew a 26-month jail sentence in District Court.


Ramos, 42, pleaded guilty on Feb 24 to a charge each of theft, driving without a valid license, and using a motor vehicle without third party insurance.

He admitted stealing the motorcycle parked by a Mr Leung near a lamppost in To Kwa Wan on Jun 13 last year, and drove it around until he was arrested by police on Jul 26 of the same year.

Casewell sentenced Ramos on Feb 24 this year to 20 months in prison for theft, four weeks for driving without a license, and three months for driving a motor vehicle without third-party insurance. All sentences were to run concurrently.

In addition, Ramos was disqualified from driving for 12 months.

Ramos filed leave to appeal against his sentence out of time on Apr 21, but gave no explanation as to why he failed to make it to the deadline.

In a letter dated Jun 3, 2021, Ramos merely said he wanted the disqualification order reduced because he needed his driver’s license to work as he is the sole provider for his family.

His application was opposed by government lawyer Douglas Lau who said the court was obliged to impose the mandatory 12-month disqualification, and that there were no reasons that would justify making a different order.

Macrae told Ramos he may refile his appeal against sentence out of time with the Court of Appeal, but warned his time in custody may be prolonged if the higher court finds no justification for his application.

Ramos, who was educated up to Form 5 in Hong Kong and earned a hotel and restaurant management degree in the Philippines, worked as a fitness instructor and driver in Hong Kong, earning about $18,000 a month, at the time of his arrest. He has a 5‑year-old daughter for whom he was responsible.



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