Saturday, October 31

Ex-teacher gets 18 years’ jail, whipping for raping pupil

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KOTA KINABALU: A former teacher of a private primary school has been found guilty by the Sessions Court here of two counts of raping an 11-year-old Singaporean girl, then his pupil, and was sentenced to 18 years’ jail and two strokes of the cane on each count.

Judge Duncan Sikodol, however, ordered Adrian Simon’s jail terms to run concurrently.

Adrian, 31, had initially raped the girl at the science laboratory storeroom of SRS Datuk Simon Fung in Likas here between February and March, 2010.

He committed the same offence at the same place on March 26, 2010 at 10.25am.

Both charges were framed under Section 376(2)(e) of the Penal Code.

In convicting Adrian, Duncan said he found the victim to be a very credible and consistent witness despite her testimony being uncorroborated.

“I am satisfied that the prosecution (represented by deputy public prosecutors Raja Zaizul Faridah and Luke Ressa Balang) has discharged its burden of proving the case beyond reasonable doubt,” he asserted.

The judge further acknowledged that rape was a heinous crime which, based on recent amendments, carried a maximum 30 years jail and whipping.

Duncan further asserted: “He abused trust by taking advantage of the victim’s innocence.

Although there is no violence involved in this case, certainly this is an aggravating factor which is utmost in my mind when passing sentence.

“Imagine, how as parent, to find out that this is what happens to their daughter thinking that the school is the safest place to send her.

“A deterrent message must be adequately expressed by the court so that a like-minded offender is discouraged from committing a similar offence.”

Adrian represented by counsel Hairul V Othman immediately applied for a stay of execution of the sentence pending an appeal.

It was granted by the judge who set bail at RM5,000 with RM1,000 deposited in two sureties.

Although temporarily free, he has to report to the nearest police station fortnightly. — Bernama