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Judicial CP - June 2015

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The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 10 June 2015, p.6

Courthouse drama as convict flees

Cop and public nab him just before the entrance

By Christopher Tan

Muhamad Elias being brought back by police
Short dash to freedom: Police leading Muhamad Elias back to the Sessions Court after he tried to escape from the dock.

Muhamad Elias seized in front of the court building
(Picture not from The Star but from Perak Today, 9 June)

GEORGE TOWN: A shop assistant found guilty of armed robbery at a Sessions Court here was caught after he suddenly made a dash for freedom -- only to be granted bail pending appeal on his case.

Muhamad Elias Muhamed Yusoff, 26, darted out of the dock just as DPP Charanjit Singh was asking the court to impose a deterrent sentence against him.

During the incident at 10.10am yesterday, there was only one policeman on duty and fewer than 10 people in the public gallery.

Police, who immediately chased after Muhamad Elias, could be heard shouting "Sudah lari!" (He ran off!)

Muhamad Elias ran from the courtroom, located on the second floor of a three-storey building in Light Street, before the policeman, a guard and members of the public finally nabbed him just before the entrance.

He was brought handcuffed back into the courtroom and the proceedings resumed at 10.26am.

Sessions judge Zulhazmi Abdullah told Muhamad Elias that "we have laws" and asked his counsel, R.S.N. Rayer, to advise him.

Press cutting

However, Muhamad Elias, who looked emotional, swore that he was innocent of the crime.

Rayer, who apologised on his client's behalf, argued that it was Muhamad Elias' first offence and that he was confused and disturbed after the court found him guilty.

Muhamad Elias was earlier convicted of robbing Norhaizam Borhan, 36, at the Penang Island City Council's public toilet in Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling at 4.30am on Sept 16, 2013.

He had robbed Norhaizam of RM400 and two handphones by threatening him with a knife.

Before his conviction under Section 392 of the Penal Code for armed robbery, which carries a jail term of up to 14 years and whipping, Muhamad Elias had been out on RM6,000 bail from the time he was first charged until yesterday.

Ruling that the defence had failed to raise reasonable doubt, Zulhazmi sentenced him to six years in jail and two strokes of the rotan.

Rayer then asked for and was granted a stay of execution pending appeal to the High Court. Muhamad Elias was also allowed RM20,000 bail with two sureties. He later posted bail.

As the accused was being escorted out of the courtroom by the police, two men accompanying them warned reporters not to take photographs.

One of them even tried to snatch a camera from a photographer and blocked the walkway with a bench.

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