Tailor jailed for molesting minor

Hakim Hayat

The Bandar Magistrate’s Court yesterday sentenced a 30-year-old Indian tailor to one year imprisonment and two whippings, after he was convicted of outraging the modesty of his client’s five-year-old daughter while taking measurements at his tailor shop.

Shahban Alam claimed his innocence towards the charge of using criminal force to outrage the modesty of the victim at the time the incident took place in January 2019.

After a trial in which the victim and other witnesses testified before the court, Magistrate Kamaliah Fadhilah binti Haji Ibrahim found the defendant guilty and sentenced him accordingly.

Court documents released outlined the facts of the case, which described how, the defendant, molested the girl when the victim’s guardians were not looking.

The incident was only discovered by the victim’s guardians after the victim informed them in the car immediately after leaving the tailor shop.

During the trial, the defendant maintained that he did not molest the victim and was merely taking her measurements in the presence of her guardians. He alleged that the victim’s guardians were simply unsatisfied with him due to disagreements of the completion date and alteration of the victim’s school uniform.

At the conclusion of the trial, the Magistrate disbelieved the defendant’s version of accounts.

On the contrary, the court found that the victim was a credible witness and “showed the innocence of a child who lacked the intention nor motive to fabricate such a detailed account”.

During the defendant’s mitigation, the defendant asked the court for leniency because he had a family to support in his home-country and had no previous criminal record. However, Magistrate Kamaliah Fadhilah found that the aggravating factors in the case – the victim’s young age and that the defendant was entrusted to carry out his work as a tailor to which he had taken advantage of the situation in committing the offence – outweighed the mitigation put forward by the defendant.

In sentencing, the Magistrate found that it is “important to protect young children against serious injustice. This is a deterrent sentence warranted to deter the defendant and like-minded individuals from committing such offence”.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy Public Prosecutor Nurul Fitri binti Kiprawi, while the defendant was represented by counsel Daud Ismail.