Tuesday, November 24

Rubber tapper fails to get his Christmas wish

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KOTA KINABALU: A local rubber tapper has to forget about his plan to celebrate Christmas this year after the High Court here yesterday ordered him to serve his five years’ jail for attempting to rape his teenage cousin and committing carnal intercourse on her.

Judicial Commissioner Stephen Chung Hian Guan struck out the 23-year-old rubber tapper’s application for a reduction of the custodial sentence imposed by the Sessions Court here on him and ordered the latter to serve the sentence effective yesterday.

He meted out the decision on the rubber tapper, who was represented by counsel George Alludah, after he withdrew his appeal against the sentence.

Earlier, George told the court that he was instructed by his client to withdraw the appeal but applied for the sentence to be stayed until Christmas as he (the rubber tapper) wanted to celebrate it first before serving the sentence.

However, Stephen explained to the rubber tapper that as soon as he withdrew the appeal, he has to serve the jail term immediately.

After being informed by the court on that matter, the rubber tapper told the court that he understood the consequences of him withdrawing the appeal but told the court that he wished to continue withdrawing the appeal.

On May 19, this year, Sessions Court judge Duncan Sikodol sentenced the rubber tapper to five years’ jail for the first charge of attempted rape on his 15-year-old cousin by kissing, hugging and inserting his right forefinger into her private parts.

He committed the offence at a road junction to the national park in Sipitang at 10pm on Nov 8, 2008.

The offence under Section 376 (2) (d) of the Penal Code, read together under Section 511 of the same code, provides for a jail term of up to 15 years and whipping, on conviction.

For the second charge of molesting the girl by inserting his right forefinger into the girl’s private parts at the same time and place, the accused received another five years’ jail.

The offence is stipulated under Section 377CA of the Penal Code, which provides for a jail term of up to 20 years and whipping, on conviction.

Duncan, in finding the rubber tapper guilty of both offences, ruled that the latter had failed to create doubts against the prosecution’s case.

He ordered the jail terms to run concurrently from May 19. Duncan, however, allowed the rubber tapper’s application for a stay of the execution pending an appeal against the decision at the High Court here.

Duncan released the rubber tapper on RM2,000 bail deposited with two local sureties pending the disposal of the case.