Tuesday, December 6

Family man gets 12 jails for raping underaged girl

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KOTA KINABALU: A 30-year-old family man was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment and ordered to be given two strokes of the cane yesterday for raping a 13-year-old girl.

Sessions Court judge Azreena meted out the sentence on Jifrius Ahmad after listening to oral submissions from Jifrius’ counsel, Ram Singh and deputy public prosecutor (DPP) Chow Siang Kong.

During the submission, Ram asked that his client be given a minimum sentence, while saying that it was the discretion of the court to impose whipping, though it was not compulsory.

Ram added that based on the facts of the case as well as the evidence which had been presented in court, it had been more of a consensual sex between the victim and the accused.

Jifrius, according to Ram, never had any problems with the law and this was his first offence, which did not involve any violence hence, he (Jifrius) deserved a lenient sentence.

Ram also asked the court for a stay of execution for his client as he was appealing to the High Court. Jifrius, he said, was never absent during the trial, adding that the stay was so that Jifrius could be with his family for Christmas.

DPP Chow however, argued that rape was a serious crime, and there had been no consent from the victim. He also stated that during the commission of the crime, Jifrius was an adult while the victim was underage.

Chow also said that the accused, who is a married man, should not have committed such a crime against the victim.

The rampancy, Chow contested, is viewed everyday through the newspapers and as a public interest, a heavy sentence should be imposed on Jifrius so that a message can be sent.

Hence, he urged the court to impose a deterrent sentence against the accused.

Meanwhile, Chow objected to the stay of execution as there was no solid ground for it.

Azreena, after passing the sentence, allowed the stay of execution on a condition that Jifrius report to the nearest police station once a month.

Jifrius had been sentenced for raping the girl at a hotel in the district of Tenom on December 29, 2012 at around 11.30pm.

The offence, framed under Section 375(g) of the Penal Code, is punishable under Section 376(1) of the Penal Code which carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence as well as caning.

During the trial, the prosecution had summoned 25 witnesses while the only witness for the defence was Jifrius.