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Judicial CP - June 2003

Brunei Direct, Bandar Seri Begawan, 3 June 2003

Thai Offenders Lose Gang Robbery Appeal

By Rol Ezam

Bandar Seri Begawan -- Two Thai nationals, who were sentenced to eight years imprisonment and 12 strokes of the cane each for attempting to commit gang robbery armed with a deadly weapon, made an appeal at the High Court for their sentence to be reduced. The appeal was dismissed.

"In passing the sentence that he did, the trial judge thought that the only mitigating factor in favour of both the appellants was that they had no previous criminal records. He also thought this offence to be a premeditated one and that two people were hurt in the process. The sentence he passed was one year more than the minimum, which he must pass," said William Silke, Court of Appeal Judge.

During the appeal, the first appellant, Phaithoon Chaphirom asked the judge to reduce his sentence. He said, he had no intention to rob or to commit robbery. He also said that he is supporting his parents and one daughter, and that he was a first offender.

His accomplice, Narung Muang Wong, who had been in Brunei for six years as a worker, also asked for the same thing from the presiding judge. He said, he is supporting his parents in Thailand, to whom he is sending money.

As stated in the judgement paper, the two appellants went to a house at Kg Sengkurong in the early hours of August 10 two years ago. They then entered the room occupied by two men, Wadud Dewan and Rahul.

Both the appellants were armed respectively with a stick and with a 'parang'.

There were linguistic difficulties, where nobody could speak each other's language, but the call for "money, money, money" by Narung was understood by both Wadud and Rahul.

There was a fight, in the course of which both Wadud and Rahul were struck on the head with the stick and suffered minor cuts and bruises.

The two appellants then fled. But a neighbour of Wadud and Rahul saw them flee, noting the registration number of the car they were using and reported it to the police. By the time Phaithoon reached home after he dropped Narung off at his residence, he found the police waiting for him. He was then arrested. -- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin 

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