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Judicial CP - August 2003
Borneo Bulletin, Bandar Seri Begawan, 2 August 2003
Teenage thieves lose appeal against caning
By Rol Ezam
Judge Dato Paduka Steven Chong has dismissed an appeal made by three youths aged 18 years old and a 17-year-old boy against their sentences of whipping.
"The Senior Magistrate was entirely right to treat the offences seriously and having regard to the circumstances, it would clearly be inappropriate to release the appellants on good behaviour bonds," the Judge said in the High Court.
He said that section 427 of the Penal Code provides for a sentence of up to 5 years imprisonment with not less than 2 strokes upon conviction. This reflects the gravity of the offence of mischief.
"The public must be protected from the likes of the appellants. They are not likely to be protected if lenient sentences are passed. Notwithstanding that the appellants are all young men with clear records, and they have pleaded guilty to the offences - factors which the Senior Magistrate had considered in their favour - I think the sentences are well deserved," Judge Steven Chong said.
The first appellant pleaded guilty in the Magistrate's Court to fifteen counts under the Penal Code - ten counts of theft in a building contrary to section 380; two counts of theft contrary to section 379; and three counts of mischief contrary to section 427.
The Senior Magistrate, Hj Abdullah Soefri Dato Seri Paduka Hj Abidin, sentenced the first appellant to one month's imprisonment on each of the section 380 offences; 2 weeks imprisonment on each of the section 379 offences; and one month's imprisonment and 2 strokes on each of the section 427 offences.
In relation to four of the offences, the sentences were ordered to run concurrently, and the whipping in respect of one of the section 427 offences was to be non-cumulative. As a result, the sentence passed was 11 months and 4 weeks' imprisonment and 4 strokes.
The second appellant pleaded guilty to four counts under the Penal Code; two counts of theft in a building contrary to section 380; one count of theft contrary to section 379; and one count of mischief contrary to section 427.
The third appellant pleaded guilty to nine counts under the Penal Code; five counts of theft in a building contrary to section 380; two counts of theft contrary to section 379; and two counts of mischief contrary to section 427.
The fourth appellant meanwhile, pleaded guilty to three counts under the Penal Code; two counts of theft in a building contrary to section 380 and one count of mischief contrary to section 427.
The scale of sentences that was imposed in the case of the first appellant was applied by the Senior Magistrate to the second, third and fourth appellants. Overall, the second appellant was sentenced to 2 months and 2 weeks' imprisonment and 2 strokes; the third appellant to 6 months and 4 weeks' imprisonment and 2 strokes; and the fourth appellant to 2 months' imprisonment and 2 strokes.
The offences were committed by the appellants between February 2002 and March 2003 and concerned the theft of various items from houses in the residential areas of Kampong Rimba and Perpindahan Lambak Kanan, and two schools in Perpindahan Lambak Kanan. Damage was also caused to two cars and one of the schools.
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