Man gets 26 months for buffalo theft

National 2 minutes, 18 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

A MAN who stole a buffalo and later resisted arrest was sentenced to 26 months in prison yesterday.

Defendant Jeridin Minggas stole the buffalo on December 13, 2015, after noticing that it had been left tied to a fence around a premises in Kg Lumpas.

He brought the buffalo to his friend’s house in Kg Masin, after which it was sold off to a third party for $800.

Jeridin and his friend split the proceeds of the sale between themselves.

The buffalo was later recovered alive by the police after its original owner lodged a report after realising it was missing on December 14.

When 10 officers from the Housebreaking and Car Theft Unit of the Royal Brunei Police Force attempted to arrest Jeridin on December 16, he pulled out a machete and started swinging it around towards them.

Seeing that Jeridin was unruly and holding a dangerous weapon, the police feared they would be injured if they proceed to arrest him, so they were unable to detain him.

Jeridin then ran away towards Kg Ayer through the jungle.

He was subsequently arrested on February 24 this year.

During proceedings yesterday, Jeridin in his mitigation sought leniency in his sentencing.

He further urged the court not to impose any strokes of the cane on him.

He went on to say that he was unable to return the money to the person who bought the buffalo.

Jeridin further said that he didn’t intend to use the buffalo as a mode of transportation.

In delivering his verdict, Senior Magistrate Hj Nabil Daraina PDH Badaruddin noted that this was Jeridin’s ninth conviction since his first offence in 2000, with the latest conviction in 2012 for stealing a car.

“As the record shows, prison doesn’t seem like a strange place for you,” he said.

He said that apart from Jeridin’s guilty plea and fear of being caned, he had failed to show remorse or regret for what he had done.

The defendant had also resisted arrest and threatened police officers with a deadly weapon, but fortunately, none of the officers were injured.

“It shows your disrespect for law and order by endangering the safety of the law enforcement officers, who were only doing their jobs,” said the senior magistrate.

Such behaviour, he said, calls for a deterrent sentence of sufficient term.

He said that while stealing a buffalo may be a trivial matter compared to stealing a car, the buffalo is still someone’s property.

The court subsequently imposed an 18-month prison term for stealing the buffalo and another eight months in prison for threatening police officers with a machete.

The court further denied the defendant’s application for a concurrent sentence and instead ordered that it should be served consecutively with immediate effect.

The Brunei Times