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Judicial CP - December 2001

Borneo Bulletin, Bandar Seri Begawan, 2 December 2001

Wife seeks leniency against husband for his sordid act

By Liza Mohamad

The wife of a 34-year-old labourer, had written to court yesterday seeking leniency towards her husband, who admitted in court to raping his 12-year-old stepdaughter, while his wife was asleep at the next room, resulting in her pregnancy and delivery of a baby boy.

Despite his letter and his plea of guilty, Judge Steven Chong imposed a stiff sentence of 10 years and 12 strokes of the rattan cane, noting that it was impossible to ignore the seriousness of the case.

"The defendant was in a position of authority and trust in relation to the victim which he abused in a most despicable manner.

"The victim was his stepdaughter, a young girl of 12, a child really," remarked the High Court Judge.

The court was told that the defendant, who works as a labourer, had entered his stepdaughter's bedroom and raped her while his wife was asleep in a separate room.

He told her not to tell her mother about the incident which occurred last year.

In March this year, the girl's pregnancy was noticed by her mother who reported the matter to the Syariah Court. The girl subsequently made a police report in May.

Before passing sentence, Judge Chong had considered in favour his plea of guilty and that he is a father of 3 children. Furthermore he has a clear record.

"It could also be said that this was an instance of an aberration on the part of a man hitherto good character giving way to impulse on a single occasion," Judge Chong said before passing his sentence.

The court was also informed by Deputy Public Prosecutor Suhana binte Hj Sudin, that according to the psychological assessment report, the girl fell within the 'mild intellectual deficiency to borderline' range.

"This must surely have a devastating effect on the victim for the rest of her life although she presently receives support of her maternal grandparents," the Judge added.

"Having regard to all circumstances, I do not think this is a case for the imposition of the minimum sentence.

"I consider a sentence of 10 years' imprisonment and 12 strokes corporal punishment to be appropriate," Judge Chong ordered.

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