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Judicial CP - August 2000

Borneo Bulletin, Bandar Seri Begawan, 23 August 2000

Teen jailed on molest charge

By Liza Mohamad

A 16-year-old Malaysian boy pleaded guilty to molesting a 27-year-old-lady in court yesterday. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment and four strokes of the light rotan.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Hj Rozaiman bin Dato Hj Abdul Rahman led the prosecution. In passing sentence, Magistrate Hj Abdullah Soefri bin Dato Paduka Hj Abidin took into account the fact that the defendant had pleaded guilty, was a first offender, 16 years old and supporting a large family.

However, there was a need, in this case not only to deter others but also to register society's disapproval of such depraved behaviour.

The facts admitted by the defendant were "very disturbing", Magistrate Soefri remarked. The defendant had entered the victim's house, hugged her and groped her breast. He had intended to have intercourse with her.

"Had the victim not struggled, shouted and run, I believe that the defendant would have proceeded to do what he intended to do," the Magistrate said.

The defendant also used a pair of scissors to threaten the victim and force her to submit. The Magistrate believed that if the victim's screams had not alerted the neighbours, she would have been injured.

The Magistrate hoped that the sentence would deter other young offenders.

The Magistrate imposed a prison sentence of two years beginning on the date of remand, August 17.

Even though the defendant is 16, the law provides under Section 257(1) of the Criminal Procedure Court that, "when an accused is sentenced to whipping the instrument to be used and the number of strokes shall be specified in the sentence. In no case shall the whipping exceed 24 strokes in a case of an adult of 18 stokes in the case of a youthful offender."

Section 257(4) of the same act also states that in the case of a youthful offender, whipping should be inflicted in the way of school discipline with a light rotan.

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