BY Fadley Faisal
A 37-year-old local man was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment by the Magistrate’s Court for stealing a drill from Sim Kim Huat Department Store. Muhammad Eddy Hasni bin Abdullah Amle @ Sunee bin Amle initially pleaded guilty and was convicted for theft earlier this month.
Prior to his sentencing, he informed the court that he wished to retract his plea and claimed that his statements recorded were fabricated and involuntary. He also claimed that he was promised to be released on bail by the police.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sabrina binti Haji Mahmud submitted to the Court that the defendant understood the nature and consequences of his plea. On February 13, the charge against the defendant was read to him by a Malay interpreter, who read it to him in his mother tongue.
The defendant had pleaded guilty to the charge against him unequivocally. The prosecution submitted that the defendant understood the Statement of Facts read to him.
The prosecution highlighted that the defendant’s allegation against the police were never brought up prior to or during the conviction in the Magistrate’s Court. The defendant raised it prior to the sentencing that was deferred to February 17. The defendant’s claim was an afterthought.
The magistrate in her ruling in respect of the defendant’s retraction of plea was satisfied that the defendant understood both the nature and consequence of his plea and found there were insufficient grounds to satisfy the court to allow the defendant to retract his guilty plea. The court found that it is not proper nor would it be in the interest of justice to do so.
It is the Prosecution’s case that on February 4, the defendant went inside Sim Kim Huat Department Store in Sengkurong. As he walked around the aisles, he saw a “Stanley” impact drill and stole it.
As he continued to walk around, he saw recycle bags at a corner of the shop and decided to take one. The defendant placed the drill into a red coloured recycle bag that he took and placed it back inside the shopping basket he was carrying.
The defendant continued to walk around the shop and took two packets of crackers and two packets of Cadbury 3-in-1 drink, and placed them in the shopping basket.
He went to the cashier and placed the crackers and packet drinks on the counter.
The defendant claimed he left his wallet and left the shop with the drill inside the red recycle bag.
As he walked around the Sengkurong area, the defendant saw an Indonesian man in a white vehicle. The defendant offered to sell the drill to the Indonesian for BND50.
The Indonesian agreed and gave the defendant BND50 which the defendant used for his own personal benefit.
On the same day around 11am, a supervisor of Sim Kim Huat Department Store was informed by his staff that a set of drill was missing. Upon checking the CCTV footage, they discovered the theft.
A police report was lodged.
Sengkurong police investigations led to the defendant’s arrest.
The defendant admitted that he sold the drill for BND50 for his own personal gain. The value of the drill was BND165 and it remains unrecovered.
In sentencing the defendant, the court highlighted that theft deprives the owner of the property and causes the owner some loss.
“The defendant’s action was premeditated and furthermore, he has a string of theft related convictions since 1999.”
The court further highlighted that a custodial sentence is necessary to deter the defendant and like minded persons from committing the same offence. The court sentenced the defendant to eight months’ imprisonment.
Magistrate Dewi Norlelawati binti Haji Abdul Hamid presided over the case.
-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin