INCEST CASE: Tapper’s 75-Year Term Cut To 30

18 Nov

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal reminded trial judges to be guided by the law in imposing punishments against those convicted.

“One should not be blinded by emotion and react vengefully,” said Court of Appeal judge Datuk Suriyadi Halim Omar.

He said under the criminal justice system, all accused persons were entitled to a fair trial and sentenced according to law.

The judge made the remark in allowing a rubber tapper’s appeal for a reduced jail term and rotan for five counts of incest on his stepdaughter.

Suriyadi, who sat with Datuk Wan Adnan Muhamad and Datuk Ahmad Maarop, said the tapper’s act was “cannibalistic in nature”.
“You behaved like an animal. Instead of protecting her, you had sexual intercourse with the girl since she was young and until she gave birth,” he said.

Suriyadi said the appeal court was angry over his act, but it was bound by the law.

“You are lucky. The law is not as evil as you are,” said Suriyadi.

The accused, who had five children of his own and two step children, pleaded for his sentences to run concurrently.

The Sessions Court in 2004 sentenced him to 15 years’ jail on each count, with the sentences to run consecutively, and 10 strokes of the rotan for each count. He pleaded guilty to all five charges.

This meant he would have to serve a total of 75 years’ jail term and 50 strokes of the rotan.

The High Court upheld the sentence.

Suriyadi said it was illogical for the tapper to serve a 75-year jail term as he was now 48 years old.

“It is not possible for him to come out of prison alive after serving the sentence. The prison term imposed must be logical even if one is angry with him.”

Wan Adnan remarked that the long term amounted to the tapper serving a natural life imprisonment.

The appellate court then ordered the accused to be sentenced 15 years’ jail and four strokes of the rotan on the first count, and another 15 years and five strokes on the second, with the sentences to run consecutively.

Suriyadi sentenced him to 15 years’ jail and five strokes on each of the remaining three counts, to run concurrently with the first and second counts.

This means he will now serve a 30-year jail term and receive a total of 24 strokes of the rotan.

The Criminal Procedure Code only empowers the court to impose a maximum 24 strokes of the rotan on a convicted person.

The tapper, who is a Thai national, committed the offences at a house in a village in Kuala Kerai, Kelantan, between June 2001 and November 2003.

The tapper first committed the act when the girl was 13 years old and his act came to light after she gave birth to a baby boy on July 22, 2004.

The girl’s mother lodged a police report that led to the man’s arrest six days later.

New Straits Times

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