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Colonial Cases

Haemelinck, 1934

[road accident]


Belgian Consular Court, Shanghai
Source: The North China Herald, 27 June 1934



Motor Accident Case.

   Mr. C. A. Haemelinck, service manager of the Cathay Motors, appeared before the Belgian Consular Court in Friday at the first hearing of the case arising out of a motor accident on June 10, when a 12-year old Russian girl, Lyda Malinovsky, received fatal injuries.  On the day in question the young Russian girl took a rickshaw down Avenue du Roi Albert.  Between Rue Ratard and Route Bourgeat, the rickshaw was struck by a motor car driven by Mr. Haemelinck and Lyda was hurled out of it.  She later died in hospital.

   Mr. C. A. Haemelinck, on Monday afternoon, was fined Gold Fr. 100 and further sentenced to six months' imprisonment by M. J. Delvaux de Fenffe, Belgian Consular Judge.

   The six months' sentence, however, was suspended for five years.  If Mr. Haemelinck is prosecuted again in his Consular Court during that five year period, he would have to go to gaol for six months plus whatever else he might get for the other offence.

   Besides the Gold Fr. 100 fine, Mr. Haemelinck was ordered by the Court to pay $7,000 as compensation to the parents of the deceased Russian girl.  The original claim for damages filed against him was for $30,000.

   In passing sentence, the Belgian Consular Judge upheld the contention for defence that Mr. Haemelinck was not drunk at the time of the accident, in which the unfortunate Russian girl received fatal injuries.  The contention for the defence was based on statements made by Dr. Busse and his assistant, Dr. King, who treated Mr. Haemelinck immediately after the accident of June 10.

   The motor accident, for which Mr. Haemelinck had been charged, occurred on Avenue du Roi Albert on a Sunday, a rickshaw which the Russian girl was taking for home being struck by a car driven by Mr. Haemelinck between Rue Ratard and Route Bourgeat and the grill, hurled out of her rickshaw.  She later died in Hospital of injuries received in the accident.

   At the various hearings of the case in the Belgian Consular Court, Dr. O. Fischer represented the deceased girl's parents while Mr. Haemelinck was defended by M. Paul Premet.

   Lt. Blanchet of the French Police presented evidence to the effect that Mr. Haemelinck was responsible for the accident and alleged that at the time of the accident, Mr. Haemelinck was under the influence of liquor.

   M. Paul Premet, for the defence, stated that Dr. Busse, who treated Mr. Haemelinck immediately after the accident, had made a statement to the effect that Mr. Haemelinck received some deep cuts on the head and also injury to his right ear as a result of the accident and that Mr. Haemelinck was not drunk at the time of the accident.

   Evidence was also presented by a number of other witnesses, including Ki King-chang, the coolie who was pulling the rickshaw in which the girl was riding at the time of the accident.  The coolie stated he was pulling his rickshaw from north to south along Avenue du Roi Albert when, near Rue Bourgeat, a motor car came from the opposite direction on the other side of the road.  Suddenly, according to this coolie, the car turned towards the rickshaw.  After hitting the rickshaw, the car failed to stop, but turned to the west where it was brought to a stop, the coolie told the Court.

   Two other witnesses were Mr. and Mrs. Laiersky, residing in an apartment just opposite the place of the accident.  Both witnesses said they heard a noise on the day of the accident and when they appeared on the balcony, they saw a foreign girl was lying on the road and a rickshaw had been overturned.  They then took the girl to the French police.

   When the hearing was resumed the next day, two more witnesses, Dr. Busse and his Chinese assistant, Dr. King, who treated Mr. Haemelinck immediately after the accident gave their evidence.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School