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High Court denies assaulter extra time to settle fine

Fadley Faisal

The High Court dismissed a man’s appeal for more time to settle a fine from an assault conviction, on the grounds that “allowing payment by monthly instalments would weaken the deterrent element in the sentence”.

Chief Justice Dato Seri Paduka Steven Chong said this on dismissing Rawana bin Haji Othman’s appeal on April 18.

Responding in the appeal, Prosecutor Syafina Abdul Hadzid laid out the facts of the case for the court to consider.

On February 7, the defendant pleaded guilty to assaulting a 79-year-old-man.

The court heard that on January 18, 2018, Rawana – who was 46 at the time – and his girlfriend had run into the victim at a commercial complex in Tutong District. The woman is the former wife of the victim.

Rawana confronted the victim, telling him to stay out of their relationship. An argument ensued, with Rawana punching the victim in the right eye, resulting in an open wound. The victim filed a police report before heading to the hospital for stitches.

“Any offence of violence must be treated seriously by the court,” the Chief Justice said, highlighting that the appellant had assaulted a person much older than himself. The court found that there was no justification for the appellant to resort to violence, whatever the grievance.

“This kind of lawless behaviour must be discouraged,” the Chief Justice said in conclusion.