Public Prosecutor v Win Ko @ Tun Tun

JudgeMalcolm Tan Ban Hoe
Judgment Date31 January 2001
Neutral Citation[2001] SGDC 31
Published date19 September 2003
Citation[2001] SGDC 31
CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)


Grounds of Decision

The Charge and the Facts

1. The Respondent pleaded guilty before me on 17th February 2001 to an amended charge of entering Singapore without being in possession of a valid pass lawfully issued by the Controller for Immigration, an offence punishable under section 6(3)(a) of the Immigration Act, Cap. 133.

2. The Prosecution tendered a Statement of Facts to which the Respondent admitted without any qualification.

3. The facts reveal that on 4th January 2001, at about 6:45 a.m., a party of immigration officers raided Block 232 Lorong 8 Toa Payoh #09-244. Therein, they conducted a check and found the Respondent who was not in possession of any valid document. Consequently, he was arrested for being an "illegal immigrant" and was brought to the Tanglin Police Division. Investigations revealed that he had entered Singapore illegally on 6th June 2000 by car via Johor Baru. He had not been issued a Social Visit Pass by the Singapore Immigration Department.

4. I accordingly convicted him.

Antecedent Record, the Plea in Mitigation and Submissions

5. The Respondent admitted to a similar conviction of entering Singapore without a valid pass, recorded on 1st September 1999 in Subordinate Court 26. He was sentenced at that time to serve one months imprisonment and ordered to suffer four strokes of the cane.

6. In mitigation, the Respondent stated that he was sorry for having committed the offence, and that he had a wife and two children. He also pleaded for leniency.

7. The Prosecution had no submission on sentence.

The Sentence

8. The offence for which the Respondent was charged and convicted is punishable under section 6(3)(a) of the Immigration Act, Cap. 133. Section 6(3)(a) mandates a term of imprisonment not exceeding 6 months, and (subject to section 231 of the Criminal Procedure Code), caning of not less than 3 strokes. Where by virtue of section 231, the convict cannot be caned; he shall be punished with a fine not exceeding $6,000 in lieu of caning.

9. In sentencing the Respondent, I took into account the fact that he had pleaded guilty at the third mention of the case, once he was no longer needed for investigations. This is a valid mitigating factor, as such a plea will save the time of both the Court as well as the Prosecution. A plea of guilt is also usually accepted as a sign of contrition and a willingness to accept punishment for his wrongdoing. I also took into account the Respondents...

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