Wednesday, August 5

Single mother in jail for stealing toiletries

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KOTA KINABALU: A single mother was jailed for one month and fined RM800, in default, one month’s jail by a Magistrate’s Court here yesterday for stealing toiletries.

Magistrate Mohd Faiz Omar imposed the sentence on Christina Balang, 37, after she pleaded guilty to a charge under Section 380 of the Penal Code.

The provision carries a maximum jail term of 10 years in addition to a fine, and for a second or subsequent offence, the accused shall be punished with imprisonment and shall also be liable to a fine or whipping.

In mitigating for a lenient sentence, defence counsel Goldam Hamid urged the court to consider his client’s situation as a single mother and sole provider of four children, including a four-month-old child.

Goldam added that his client was only earning RM150 per month as a cleaner at a lodging house in Tanjung Aru.

Moreover, continued Goldam, his client did not gain any monetary benefit from the offence as the stolen items were returned to the complainant.

In reply, prosecuting officer Inspector Jakariya Jupakkal asked for an appropriate sentence, taking into consideration the facts of the case.

The incident occurred on June 17 at around 7.30pm when Christina reportedly stole toiletries from a Watson’s outlet in Centre Point here.

Christina had apparently walked out of the store without paying for the items and was stopped by a salesgirl.

The stolen items were valued at RM195.50.

In another Magistrate’s Court, a man was released on bail pending disposal of his case for stealing several tins of paint and glue from his employer’s storage unit.

Magistrate Stephanie Sherron Abbie released Abdul Amin Markama on RM3,000 bail with two local sureties after he pleaded not guilty to a charge under Section 381 of the Penal Code.

The indictment provides for a maximum jail term of seven years in addition to a fine.

In mitigation, prosecuting officer Inspector Lim Swee Beng proposed a bail of RM6,000 with two local sureties, to which the unrepresented accused replied by asking for a lesser bail amount.

The court fixed August 7 for case management.