Baktijamil bin Zainudin v Public Prosecutor

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeChay Yuen Fatt
Judgment Date09 July 2003
Neutral Citation[2003] SGDC 156
Citation[2003] SGDC 156
Published date01 October 2003
Plaintiff CounselInspector Shabbir Yusuf
Defendant CounselMr Mastan Marican (Marican & Associates)

The charges

1 The accused was originally charged with robbery under section 392 of the Penal Code (Cap 224). When he indicated that he was prepared to plead guilty, the prosecution split the original charge into the following two charges to which the accused eventually pleaded guilty:

1st Amended Charge

“..you on or about the 10th day of March 2003, at or about 5 pm at the void deck of Blk 138 Bishan Street 12, Singapore, together with Mohammad Firhan Bin Khairum and Mohd Hafis Bin Zulkifli and in furtherance of the common intention of you all, did commit theft of one black and white “Nokia 6510” handphone valued at $288, to wit, in the possession of one Tan Yuan Chee, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under section 379 read with section 34 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224;” and

2nd Amended Charge

“..you on or about the 10th day of March 2003, at or about 5 pm at the void deck of Blk 138 Bishan Street 12, Singapore, together with Mohammad Firhan Bin Khairum and Mohd Hafis Bin Zulkifli and in furtherance of the common intention of you all, did voluntarily cause hurt to one Tan Yuan Chee, to wit, by slapping the said Tan Yuan Chee once, on his right cheek, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under section 323 read with section 34 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.”

The sentence

2 The accused was sentenced to undergo reformative training.

The facts

3 The statement of facts revealed that on the day in question, the 14 year old victim and his friends were playing mahjong at the void deck of Blk 138 Bishan Street 12 when the accused and his two accomplices approached them.

4 The accused pushed the victim on the face and also slapped him on the right cheek. The victim sustained a bruise. The accused then alleged that the victim was staring at him. When the victim denied staring, the accused took the victim’s hand-phone that was placed on the table. Out of fear that he might be further assaulted, the victim did not stop the accused from taking the hand-phone. All this while, the two accomplices acted as look-outs.

5 The accused and his accomplices further questioned the victim as to their affiliation, if any, to secret societies. They then fled. However, the victim and his friends ran after them and managed to catch them. They were handed over to the police.

6 The accused admitted stealing the hand-phone from the victim on the pretext of being secret society members.

Prior criminal record

7 The accused has no criminal record.

The mitigation

8 In mitigation, the accused claimed to be looking after his elder brother who had met with an accident. He pleaded for leniency and a second chance.

Sentencing consideration

9 I called for a pre-sentence report (“RTC report”) to assess the accused’s suitability to undergo reformative training. Sentencing was accordingly adjourned pending the preparation of the report.

10 On the day of sentence, the accused’s mother instructed a counsel to mitigate further on behalf of the accused. It should be made clear that counsel did not apply to have the accused’s plea of guilt retracted. Instead, he requested for the court to call for a probation report or alternatively, to sentence the accused to a term of imprisonment. The upshot of counsel’s plea was essentially not to make an order for reformative training.

11 Having regard to the RTC report and considering the recommendation contained therein that the accused was suitable for reformative training, I sentenced him to undergo a period of reformative training accordingly.

12 In respect of counsel’s request for the court to consider a jail sentence as an option, I was of the view that rehabilitation is usually the dominant consideration where the offender is 21 years and below as noted by the High Court in Thomas Cheng v PP [2001] 1 SLR 285. It was further noted by the High Court that young offenders are in their...

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