High Court dismisses convicted drug offender’s appeal

Fadley Faisal

The High Court on Monday dismissed the appeal of a drug offender who disputed the decision made by the Magistrate’s Court.

Juary bin Johari was sentenced to three years and nine months’ jail last year, following a conviction after trial on a charge of consuming methylamphetamine.

Juary holds a previous conviction for drug consumption, for which he was fined BND1,500.

He appealed before Chief Justice Dato Seri Paduka Steven Chong, asserting that the Magistrate’s Court had been wrong to add nine months in imprisonment, reflected from the fact that Juary had claimed trial.

Juary also claimed that his family would suffer hardship, being deprived of his support, saying that the Magistrate’s Court should have considered giving a community service order.

The Chief Justice said that Juary had misunderstood the concept of handing a more severe sentence, in observation of his claiming trial; and further iterated that in fact, it is the correct approach to such circumstance in its case.

The Chief Justice also said that his family’s hardship should not affect the right sentence, and that a community service order would not be appropriate in Juary’s or the public interest in deterring drug abuse.

“It is plain that the fine imposed for the previous conviction was of no deterrence to the applicant from taking drugs again,” the Chief Justice concluded, referring to Juary’s lack of remorse. Deputy Public Prosecutor Dayangku Didi-Nuraza binti Pengiran Haji Abdul Latiff and Prosecutor Hajah ‘Adzimah Mukarramah binti Haji Salleh represented the Public Prosecutor, as respondents.