Sabri Bin Suboh v Public Prosecutor

JudgeKhoo Oon Soo
Judgment Date23 February 2001
Neutral Citation[2001] SGDC 57
Published date19 September 2003
Citation[2001] SGDC 57
CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)


Grounds of Decision

1 The bailor in this case stood bail for his brother who was charged for an offence of consumption of a controlled drug. His brother was released on bail furnished by him in the amount of $5000. His brother appeared in person and pleaded guilty to the charge on 25 October 2000. However sentence was postponed to 3 January 2001 upon his request that he would like to complete his National Service. His run-out-date was on 28 December 2000.

2 Unfortunately, on 3 January 2001 both the bailor and his brother were absent. Upon the application of the Deputy Public Prosecutor, a Warrant of Arrest was issued and the bailor was to show cause on 2 February 2001.

3 On 30 January 2001, the accused was arrested and produced in Court No. 26 and his case was fixed for mention before me on 2 February 2001. He was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment which sentence was backdated to the date of his remand ie 30 January 2001.

4 On the same day (2 February 2001) the bailors Notice to Show Cause was proceeded with. After the notice was read and explained to him, he elected not to show cause and, instead, chose to mitigate.

5 His mitigation was that he had stood bail for his brother and that he did not know why he failed to turn up on 3 January 2001. On that day the bailor himself was abroad. On his return he learnt about his brothers absence from Court. He immediately went to Johor Bahru and brought him back.

6 The bailor also pleaded for a lesser forfeiture citing financial hardship in that he was a delivery van driver and that he was married and had 2 children.

The Law

7 The principles applicable to bail proceedings were enunciated in the case of PP v Mahadi bin Mohamed Daud. Although the case dealt with specifically with the issue whether the Public Prosecutor had locus standi to appeal against the decision of the District Judge wherein he forfeited $10,000 out of a $15,000 bail with the remainder being remitted to the bailor. In his judgment, the Honourable the Chief Justice cited 2 dicta from 2 cases. The first dictum was from the judgment of Donaldson LJ in R v Knightsbridge Crown Court, ex p Newton [1980] Crim LR 715. The dictum is produced on page 32 of His Honours judgment:

"It has been said by this court, and by other courts time and again, that entering into suretyship (going bail for someone, to use the common phrase) is an extremely serious matter not to be lightly undertaken, and those who go bail must...

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