Chief Justice dismisses sexual predator’s appeal

Fadley Faisal

Chief Justice Dato Seri Paduka Steven Chong on Saturday dismissed a “sexual predator’s” appeal against sentence on finding it not excessive having regard to its aggravating circumstances.

Awangku Ibrahim bin Pengiran Badar urged the court to take into consideration the hardship that his elderly mother would suffer in determining an appropriate sentence.

“Of course the court has sympathy for the appellant’s mother, but as I have said time and again, it is often the case that the imprisonment of an offender will cause hardship to his family but it cannot be one of the factors which can affect what would otherwise be the right sentence,” the Chief Justice said.

The Chief Justice concluded that “schoolchildren must be protected from sexual predators like the appellant. Lenient sentences will not deter.”

Awangku Ibrahim was sentenced to three years’ jail with two whippings after pleading guilty to the charge carrying a penalty of a maximum jail of five years with whipping.

In brief, at about 5.30pm on November 30, 2019, Awangku Ibrahim saw the 14-year-old alone outside his school waiting to be picked by his father.

He offered to send the victim to his father’s place of work, and the victim agreed and entered his car as he was under the impression that he had been sent by his father to pick him up from school.

Along the way, he stopped the car in a parking area and assaulted the victim, and in fear, the victim unwillingly obliged to his actions.

He later sent the victim to his father’s place of work. The victim informed his father what had happened and a police report was lodged.

Investigations by the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) led to his arrest. Deputy Public Prosecutor Nurul Fitri binti Kiprawi represented the Public Prosecutor as respondent.