Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Brunei Town

Three years, two strokes of cane for ‘fishing’ thief

Fadley Faisal

The Intermediate Court sentenced local Muhammad Rezal bin Meyasin to three years and four months of jail, with two strokes of the cane for theft and housebreaking yesterday.

Muhammad Rezal, 33, pleaded guilty to breaking into a store selling fishing equipment amid COVID-19 movement restrictions and making off with over BND8,000 worth of items.

Prosecutor Syafina Abdul Hadzid said the defendant travelled by boat with an accomplice during the wee hours from Sungai Gadong to Sungai Berakas and arrived at the store at a commercial area around 4am on January 25. The defendant went to the garage behind the shop and loosened a light bulb to make the area darker.

The defendant’s accomplice then forced open the back door of the store while he kept a lookout. The defendant stole over 40 items of fishing equipment and fled the scene by boat.

The theft was discovered by a shop assistant in the morning and a police report was lodged by the manager.

Footage from the shop’s CCTV aided police investigation and led to the defendant’s arrest. Most of the stolen items were not recovered.

On handing the sentence to the defendant, Judge Pengiran Hajah Norismayanti binti Pengiran Haji Ismail reflected on the defendant’s previous criminal record.

The judge said that the defendant’s criminal act had progressed since he was also convicted for theft in March 2019.

“The court observes the need to not just hand a mere punishment to the defendant, but also a deterrent one,” said the judge.