| Siti Hajar |
A MALAYSIAN national who was charged with breach of trust was sentenced to serve time behind bars yesterday, which was followed by her earlier mitigation for the Intermediate Court to consider giving her a lenient sentence.
Twenty-three-year-old Siti Noorashikin Azlan had faced a penalty that carries an imprisonment term that may extend to 10 years and a fine but the court had ruled for her to serve 14 months – for siphoning off $16,058 in cash while working at AV Electronics in the Kuala Belait Distirct.
In handing down the custodial sentence, the court justified the penalty as one that was fitting for the crime with the court’s intent focussing on deterring others from committing a similar offence, which was described as “disturbing” due to the nature of the case in that the employer-employee trust was breached.
The sentence had also taken into consideration the defendant’s age, plea of guilt and her remorse that was voiced as part of her mitigation, in which she also took the opportunity to explain that she was the eldest child and was supporting her family including a grandfather who had experienced a stroke.
The crime she committed, it was heard, was due to the lack of family finances and took place over a course of almost a year from October 2013 to September 2014. It was explained in the statement of facts that the young woman was entrusted with the collection of money from purchases made at the shop.
During the investigation, the defendant, the main suspect, had admitted to selling a number of items in the shop’s inventory but instead of depositing the money into the cash box and properly cataloguing the sale, she had pocketed the money and had failed to log the transactions.
The thought that was invested into committing the crime, the court noted, was well-planned.