17-year jail sentence on rapist upheld

PUTRAJAYA (BERNAMA) – Malaysia’s Court of Appeal yesterday upheld the sentence of 17-year jail and eight strokes of the cane on a former lorry driver for raping his niece four years ago.

The final appeal of the 41-year-old man against his punishment was unanimously turned down by a panel of three judges comprising Datuk Yaacob Md Sam, Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang and Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail.

Justice Yaacob, who headed the panel said the court found no merit to amend the sentence meted by the Malaysian Sessions Court and concurred with by the Malaysian High Court.

“With this, the appeal of the appellant (uncle) was rejected and the sentence of 17 years jail and eight strokes of the cane is upheld.

“It must be reminded that the court gives its attention to rape cases involving children which are quite rampant now and the court is sending a clear signal to those who intend to commit such acts that the court would not be lenient with such offences,” he said.

Earlier, the man who was not represented by a counsel, appealed for his jail sentence to be reduced to 12 or 13 years on the grounds that he had repented his act and wished to return to his family.

“I know my offence is repulsive but when I was in prison I studied religion and had undergone a rehabilitation programme. I want to be with my family as my wife has breast cancer and she has to work to support my old parents as well as our six-year-old daughter who will be going to school,” he said.

However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Zaki Asyraf Zubir argued that the sentence by the Sessions Court was commensurating with the offence of the appellant.