Packir Malim v Public Prosecutor

JudgeYong Pung How CJ
Judgment Date01 July 1997
Neutral Citation[1997] SGHC 178
Docket NumberCriminal Revision No 6 of 1997
Date01 July 1997
Published date19 September 2003
Plaintiff CounselMichael Kor (Michael Kor & Co)
Citation[1997] SGHC 178
Defendant CounselJasbendar Kaur (Deputy Public Prosecutor)
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Subject MatterWhether petitioner coerced into pleading guilty,Whether sentence manifestly excessive,Revision of proceedings,Whether grounds for revision,s 268 Criminal Procedure Code (Cap 68),Sentencing,Theft,Conviction on plea of guilt,Criminal Procedure and Sentencing

The petitioner sought revision of his conviction and also appealed against the sentence imposed. Both the application for revision and the appeal were dismissed. I now set out my reasons for dismissing them.

The petitioner pleaded guilty to a charge of committing theft of seven pieces of children`s clothes, and was fined $1,000, two weeks` imprisonment in default.
The charge was in the following terms:

You, Packir Malim Bava Fahurudeen Malim, Foreign Identification No F7908704K, are charged that you, on or about 28 February 1997 at or about 8.29pm at No 3 New Bugis Street, at stall no 43, did commit theft of the following items:

a) seven pieces of Chinese clothings valued at a total of $120 (one hundred and twenty dollars) from the said stall belonging to Tian Kian Poh, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under s 379 of the Penal Code (Cap 224).

The plea of guilt was made to an agreed statement of facts.
In summary, it stated that on 28 February 1997, at about 8.29pm, the complainant had called the police telling them that he had detained a male Indian who had allegedly stolen some Chinese costumes from his stall. A witness, a helper at the stall, had seen the petitioner behaving suspiciously at some displays outside the stall, and had decided to keep an eye on the petitioner. The witness saw the petitioner put away some costumes into a bag carried by him, after which the petitioner walked off; the witness alerted the complainant, who gave chase and managed to detain the petitioner at a bus stop nearby. The petitioner was subsequently arrested.

He was brought to court eventually.
The notes of evidence of the proceedings are reproduced in their entirety:

[Police prosecutor]

Accused in person

Charge marked `P1` read, explained and understood in Tamil.

Pleads guilty. Understands nature and consequences of plea (punishment provided by law explained).

Statement of Facts marked `A` read and admitted without qualification.

Court: Guilty and convicted on the charge.

Prosecutor: Nothing known.

Accused: Please impose a fine. That is all.

Court: Fine $1,000, in default, two weeks` imprisonment.

Exhibits to be returned to the owner.

The magistrate was informed that the petitioner had no antecedents.
In mitigation, all that the petitioner prayed for was that only a fine be imposed. The magistrate in her sentencing, noted that the petitioner was a first offender and that there were no aggravating factors. It was found by her that no relevant mitigation was raised by the petitioner.

The petition and the appeal

The petitioner sought appeal and revision, claiming that he was coerced into pleading guilty. It was alleged that he had been intimidated, threatened and assaulted by police officers into admitting the theft. He admitted to the charge in court only because he wanted to get the matter over with and avoid further assault. The petitioner allegedly did not understand the nature and consequences of a plea of guilt; he did not know that he was liable to be deported. Though the petitioner tried to explain to the interpreter his version of events, before pleading guilty, this was not made known by the court interpreter to the magistrate. In support of his contentions, the petitioner listed out various reasons why he himself could not have committed the theft; the version of events relied upon by the prosecution was not credible. The petitioner also took issue with supposed inaccuracies in the statement of facts such as the description of the stall and...

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14 cases
  • Chu Wai Kiu v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 14 February 2005 it is clear that pleas of guilt by unrepresented persons are not more easily vitiated than by those represented: Packir Malim v PP [1997] 3 SLR 429. 27 Against this background, I did not think that CWK should now, in an appeal against an order of forfeiture, be allowed to tergiversate an......
  • Ngian Chin Boon v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 17 October 1998
    ...not prejudiced in any way, there are insufficient grounds for the High Court to exercise its revisionary jurisdiction: Packir Malim v PP [1997] 3 SLR 429 . 8.In light of these governing principles of revision, the error in the charge with regards to the place where the petitioner did the al......
  • Soong Hee Sin v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 19 March 2001
    ... ... of this or that point of law and thus prejudiced because he or she was unrepresented have not been well received in previous cases: see eg Packir Malim v PP [1997] 3 SLR 429 and Virgie Rizza V Leong v PP (Unreported) ... If an accused person voluntarily chooses not to avail himself of his ... ...
  • Ma Teresa Bebango Bedico v Public Prosecutor
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 18 January 2002
    ...v PP [1998] 3 SLR (R) 196; [1999] 3 SLR 362 (folld) Mok Swee Kok v PP [1994] 3 SLR (R) 134; [1994] 3 SLR 140 (folld) Packir Malim v PP [1997] 2 SLR (R) 472; [1997] 3 SLR 429 (refd) Teo Hee Heng v PP [2000] 2 SLR (R) 351; [2000] 3 SLR 168 (refd) Criminal Procedure Code (Cap 68, 1985 Rev Ed) ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Journal No. 1998, December 1998
    • 1 December 1998 13 of the transcript of the judgment. 33 [1996] 1 SLR 326. 34 Ibid at 330. Emphasis added by writer. 35 See also Packir Malim v PP[1997] 3 SLR 429, 431H. 36 See Ang Poh Chuan v PP [1996] 1 SLR at 332C—D. Emphasis added by writer. 37 See paragraph 19 at page 13 of the transcript of the ......

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