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Seven men jailed, caned for serial break-ins

Fadley Faisal

The Intermediate Court yesterday handed sentences to seven local men who had pleaded guilty to a series of housebreaking, theft and mischief offences.

Sitting in the Tutong court house, Judge Pengiran Masni binti Pengiran Haji Bahar handed sentences of 10 years’ imprisonment with eight canings to Awangku Abdul Malik bin Pengiran Idrus, 28, and Muhammad Irwin Omar, 41.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Nazeerul Azim Zoelaliffin, 28, received a sentence of six years and four months’ jail with four canings; Abdul Hafiz Adam, 25, received nine months’ jail; Mohammad Hairul Faizal bin Haji Taim, 38, received two years and eight months’ jail with two canings; Mohd Zul Eqram bin Haji Asmad, 39, received 12 years’ jail with nine canings; and Muhammad Nur Syazwan Suhaili, 34, received three years’ jail with three canings.

Judge Pengiran Masni told the defendants to reflect on their personal lives and families they will be leaving behind while they serve time.

The court also hoped that the current punishments will serve as a lesson learnt and repent, and eventually change them for the better when they get released.

Prosecutor Ahmad Firdaus bin Mohammad revealed that in alternate involvements; the men had broken into a house at Jalan Lambak Kiri at 1am on November 4, 2021 making away with a flat screen television and a CCTV camera. Police investigations were aided with a CCTV footage leading to their arrests.

On April 13, 2021, the men entered a worker’s construction camp at Jalan Kebangsaan Lama at 8.30am, where they stole three mobile phones.

A worker saw the men take the phones and shouted for help, but the defendants escaped. A police report however led to their arrests.

Some of the men also broke into Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) Nakhoda Ragam Campus sometime between August and September, 2021 where they ransacked and stole food, a standing fan, a rice cooker and a radio from its kitchen.

The men then sold the electrical appliances to a scrap yard.

A school staff member filed a police report after discovering several items had gone missing.

On October 31, 2021, some of the men stole cables from an unoccupied house at Kampong Peninjau, Jerudong.

The owner discovered the theft when he visited the site and handed a CCTV footage to aid the police in their investigations.

Meanwhile, two of the defendants broke into the Waste Composting Centre, the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe) sometime on June 29 and 30, 2021, where they stole a blower and two grass cutter machines from a storage building.

A staff member lodged a police report on realising the theft.

The same duo struck a house at Jalan Pasir Berakas at night sometime between October 9 and 10, 2021 where they stole personal documents and other belongings.

The owner realised his property had gone missing and reported the theft to the police.

Four out of the seven defendants broke into an empty house at Jalan Mejawa, Kampong Jerudong sometime between October 21 and 22, 2021.

They made away with cash, a television, a karaoke set, a DVD player and a safe box containing jewellery. The owner returned to the house to find that his house had been burgled and reported it to the police.

Alternately involved, the men struck a house at Jalan Pasir Berakas on November 11, 2021 stealing cash, jewellery and electronics; a house at Jalan Binglu Utara, RPN Meragang on October 18, 2021 stealing food and other belongings; and an unoccupied house at Kampong Peninjau, Jerudong on October 21, 2021 stealing an automatic gate cable.

One of the defendants, assisted by other unidentified persons, damaged and stole battery cells and earthing cables from a power station building at Bukit Shahbandar on September 24, 2021.

The incident caused a major disruption to UNN, breaching BND150,000 in damages.

The same defendant assisted by other unidentified persons, cut and stole cables from the Berakas Power Station at Bukit Shahbandar in October 2021, causing over BND5,000 in damages.

Two of the seven men also stole BND10,000 worth of property when they broke into a house at Bebatik Kulapis in September 2021.

Prosecutor Ahmad Firdaus also provided the court with all the defendants’ previous convictions recording at least one offence to their antecedents, all relating to thefts.

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