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BRUNEI

Judicial CP - February 2002



Borneo Bulletin, Bandar Seri Begawan, 2 February 2002

High court reduces strokes and prison term for molester

By Liza Mohamad

A convicted molester who made a High Court appeal against his "excessive" sentence of 5 years in prison and 8 strokes of whipping, had a strand of luck when the court reduced the sentence to 2 years in jail and 3 strokes of rattan.

Damit bin Othman, 29, had been convicted of outraging the modesty of a 14-year-old girl on September last year behind his wife's back.

In the lower court, Deputy Public Prosecutor Suhana binte Hj Sudin had laid three charges against Damit, who instantly pleaded guilty.

The magistrate imposed a sentence of 2 years in prison and three strokes of the rattan on the first two charges and 1 years on the third charge.

When the magistrate passed the sentence, he considered the aggravating features of the offences and his plea of guilty and clean record. The magistrate called for a severe sentence as a deterrent and to show society's disapproval.

However in the appeal, High Court Judge, Datin Hayati disagreed with the magistrate's observation with his sentence of 2 years 3 strokes on the first charge.

"The only matter that troubled this court is the consecutive sentence imposed by the magistrate. I think the proper course in the circumstances of the case is to make the imprisonment sentences concurrent, those 3 acts having taken place on the same occasions and within a matter of 30 minutes against the same victim," noted the judge.

Judge Datin Hayati noted his plea of guilty, which saved time and the need for the victim to give evidence.

"Having considered the principle of sentencing and the authorities in those circumstances the consecutive total sentence of 5 years and 8 strokes does appear to me to be manifestly excessive. Therefore - in order to achieve the appropriate sentence, the sentences on all the charges are quashed and substituted with a sentence of 2 years imprisonment on each of the charges to run concurrent to each other," the judge ruled.

The judge also noted that he will also undergo whipping; one stroke for each charge.




Borneo Bulletin, BSB, 15 February 2002

Drug convict on the loose

By Liza Mohamad

Wanted man, Sahari bin Hj Osman @ Hj Othman. Photo courtesy of NCB

A drug trafficker, Sahari bin Hj Osman @ Hj Othman, 42, who was sentenced to seven years in jail and four strokes of the rattan cane on January 31 this year, is currently on the loose.

Sahari is a local and his last residence was at No: 94, Kg Wasan, Limau Manis.

He is wanted as he has already been convicted of three charges of possessing drugs for the purpose of trafficking, consuming drugs and possessing drug utensils.

The Narcotics Control Bureau is seeking public for help in locating him.

Anyone who has information regarding him can call the NCB office at Jalan Tungku, Gadong at 02-448877 ext 231 or contact the Head of the Enforcement and Intelligence directly at 02-448877 ext 229 or direct line 02-422465.




blob Follow-up: 9 June 2002 - Runaway Drug Convict Caught In Kuala Baram Pub



Borneo Bulletin, BSB, 20 February 2002

10 years jail for teen gang rapist

By Liza Mohamad

A seventeen-year-old boy, who masterminded a gang rape on a 19-year old girl, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 10 strokes of the rattan by the Intermediate Court yesterday.

It was adduced in court that the 17-year-old boy had tricked the said victim, who was a friend of his, to go out with him in the middle of the night and committed rape on her.

His partner in crime, Awg Damit bin Hj Ossen, 30, a father of four children and a former security guard, also received the same sentence for raping the victim inside a car at Spg. 32, Kampong Kiarong, Gadong on June 6 last year.

And Sambali bin Sahari, 27, a Malaysian fisherman, was sentenced to eight years in jail and eight lashes of the cane, for abetting the 17-year-old boy in committing the rape.

They had all pleaded not guilty to the charge and were found guilty upon completion of trial conducted by Deputy Public Prosecutor Suhana binte Hj Sudin.

Judge Wong Siew Yen noted that though Sambali did not commit rape on the said victim, the law is clear that abetting an offence is as good as committing the offence.

Both the 17-year-old boy and Awg Damit have been convicted of committing rape under Section 376(1) of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum imprisonment of 30 years in jail and 15 strokes of the rattan.

And Sambali is convicted of abetting the said offence under Section 109 of Penal Code, which calls for the same maximum punishment since the offence was committed with his assistance.

Judge Wong remarked that the defendants had taken advantage of the victim's vulnerability, as the victim had relied on them to send her home.

The court heard that the 17-year-old boy had first called the victim to go out with him to see another friend but the latter was not to be found.

She then asked the boy to send her home. But on the way the car overheated and they stopped at the mentioned place. The three defendants then went for a talk leaving the victim inside the car.

The 17-year-old boy raped the victim inside the car and was followed by Awg Damit. This occurred between 3 to 4 am in the morning.

It was also said that Sambali was guarding the car at that time and was about to commit rape on the victim. But the attempt failed when he noticed a car passing by the area.

During the trial, Awg Damit said that the 17-year-old boy was the mastermind of the gang rape.

The court highlighted that he was the one who got her to come out with him in the middle of the night. "But he did not appear to have the guts to commit sexual intercourse with the victim, not due to the urges of Awg Damit," the Judge remarked.

"The 17-year-old boy was the youngest and the most gullible. He had unwisely listened to Awg Damit's prompting," the Judge added.

Out of the three, Awg Damit has a criminal record dating back to 1993 when he committed mischief by causing damage, and two drug convictions in 1996 and 1997, the court highlighted.

In court yesterday, DPP Ak Khairul Nizam bin Pg Hj Md Yassin and Shamsuddin bin Hj Kamaluddin stood in.

Copyright 2002 Brunei Press Sdn Bhd. All right reserved.




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