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Judicial CP - July 1997

Borneo Bulletin, BSB, 31 July 1997

Youth jailed 11 years for brutal knife robbery

By Nadhra Haneesa

A Brunei youth was found guilty of robbery and sentenced to 11 years' jail with 12 strokes of the rotan in the High Court recently.

When the terms of the sentencing were announced, Pg Hj Amir Hamzah Omar Ali Saifuddien, 25, broke down in court and had to be consoled by his father Pg Hj Amir Mohd Yusof.

The youth was found guilty of robbery, possession of a knife, causing hurt to a security guard on duty with the knife and attempting to remove items of property while posing as a police officer in January this year.

The crimes took place at Gadong Properties Building around 1.30 am on January 13 this year.

Pg Hj Amir Hamzah had pleaded not guilty to all charges and maintained this stance throughout the two-day trial. He alleged that his friend Ramlee, who was with him that night, was responsible for stealing two walkie-talkies and stabbing a security guard.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Yusree bin Hj Junaidi called to the stand 14 witnesses, the chief of which was the robbery victim, security guard Md Syahrin bin Abdullah.

The court was told that Pg Hj Amir approached the guard at the Gadong building claiming to be a police officer and flashing a warrant card.

The youth then demanded that the guard hand over his walkie talkie charger. When Syahrin refused, Pg Hj Amir left.

But he later returned and stabbed the security guard in the neck, using a knife.

The victim was in shock and tried to defend himself by holding onto his assailant's hand to prevent him from inflicting further injury. The result of this was another cut to his right hand. Pg Hj Amir then drove away, taking two walkie-talkies with him.

He was arrested on January 15 at a house in Kg Sumbiling Lama. The walkie-talkies and knife used were said to be from that house. Syahrin later identified his assailant at a police line-up.

Delivering his judgement, High Court Commissioner R G Penlington rejected the defendant's contention and said he believed the accounts as laid down by the victim and the prosecution witnesses.

The commissioner remarked that it was a cowardly and unprovoked attack. He said security guards are in a vulnerable position and had to be protected.

Commissioner Penlington imposed 11 years and 12 strokes of the rotan for robbery, three years and three strokes for possession of the knife, one year for causing hurt and one year and two strokes for posing as a police officer.

The sentences are to run concurrently.

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Colin Farrell