KOTA KINABALU: The Court of Appeal here reinstated the Sessions Court’s decision to sentence a local man to 15 years’ jail and one stroke of the cane for each of two counts of rape.
Justice Dato’ Nihrumala Segara A/L M K Pillay, who sat together with Datuk Clement Skinner and Datuk Lim Yee Lan yesterday, allowed the prosecution’s appeal against the High Court’s decision to impose two years’ jail sentence on self-employed Sukindin Ramamboi, 29, for each charge.
The three-judge panel unanimously held that the custodial sentences imposed by the High Court were manifestly inadequate.
They pointed out that there was no basis for the High Court to substitute the original sentences imposed by the Sessions Court with the two years’ jail sentence.
“We unanimously allow the appeal. The High Court’s decision is set aside and the sentences imposed by the Sessions Court are reinstated,” Nihrumala said after hearing submissions from deputy public prosecutor Raja Zaizul Faridah Raja Zaharuddin who appeared for the appellant and from Sukindin’s counsel Seibing Gunting.
The Sessions Court had on March 19, 2010, found Sukindin guilty of both offences and sentenced the latter to 15 years’ jail and one stroke of the cane for each of two charges.
Sukindin was found guilty of raping the girl who was then 15 years and two months old at an unnumbered house in Kampung Bongkol, Pitas at 2am and 6am on March 31, 2007.
Each of the charges under Section 376 of the Penal Code carries a jail term of between five and 20 years and whipping.
The Sessions Court ordered the custodial sentences to run concurrently.
Sukindin later appealed against the Sessions Court’s decision to the High Court and it was heard on Jan 11, this year.
Earlier Raja Zaizul told the court that the High Court had erred in law when substituting the original sentences.
She submitted that the High Court failed to take into consideration the public interest and effect on the victim on the incidents.
Raja Zaizul told the court that the respondent committed the offences before the amendment where the law provides a jail term of between five and 20 years and is also liable to whipping.
Thus, she pointed out that the sentence impose on the respondent should be at least not less than five years.
Furthermore, she said there the respondent had used force in committing the offences although the medical report of the victim stated she did not sustain any injuries.
In his rebuttal, Seibing submitted that the High Court reduced the respondent’s jail sentences as there was mutual consent and no forced was used.
He said that there were no injuries sustained by the victim. Thus, he urged the court not to disturb the High Court’s decision.