The Taiwan High Court yesterday heard the closing arguments of Taiwanese-Japanese singer Makiyo and her Japanese male acquaintance Takateru Tomoyori, who expressed deep remorse and pled for lighter sentences over a case in which they are accused of severely beating a taxi driver while drunk five months ago.
“I have learned my lessons from the incident, such as having better control of my emotions and behavior when intoxicated, and have remained sober for the past five months [since the case surfaced],” Makiyo, who was charged with intent to cause serious bodily harm, said in her closing argument.
Repeating her apology to family members of the taxi driver, Lin Yu-chun (林余駿), Makiyo asked the judge to offer her an opportunity to start over with a more lenient sentence, to allow her to work and support her family.
She also made an open pledge to quit drinking, urging her friends “not to invite her for a drink in the future.”
Makiyo and Tomoyori were charged with assault after the pair was caught on video beating up Lin on Feb. 3, after Tomoyori allegedly refuse to buckle his seatbelt.
Following a widespread public outcry over their behavior and attempts to dodge responsibility, the pair later reached an out-of-court settlement of NT$3 million (US$101,700) with Lin.
The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office originally pressed charges against the pair of intent to cause serious physical injury and recommended stiff sentences, but the Taipei District Court, in light of the settlement and the belief that the two had not intended to cause such serious physical harm, in April imposed lighter sentences on grounds of common assault.
Makiyo was sentenced to 10 months in prison with three years of probation, while Tomoyori was given a one-year sentence with four years’ probation.
Prosecutors expressed their discontent with the rulings and said the district court’s lessening of the charges was inappropriate, so they appealed the court decision in May.
Takateru Tomoyori also presented his closing arguments yesterday. He confessed to assaulting Lin, who suffered two fractured ribs and serious head injuries, and expressed remorse for inflicting harm on the taxi driver and on society.
“I am truly sorry for my behavior,” Tomoyori said, expressing hope that the court would sentence him to probation.
The pair also reaffirmed that neither of them [committed the act] with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm or to kill, or were involved in any compulsive acts.
The court is scheduled to deliver a verdict in the case on Aug. 1.