Woman pulls back guilty plea in illegal home dentistry case

National 1 minute, 21 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

A WOMAN who had earlier pleaded guilty to 22 counts of running unlicensed dental services from her house yesterday decided to retract her plea at the Magistrates’ Court.

Hayimmah Bahri, a 29-year-old permanent resident, had offered dental advice and fitted braces to customers without a licence at her home in STKRJ Kg Tungku after advertising through Facebook. The defendant was due to be sentenced yesterday.

In the application to the court made by defence counsel Ahmad Basuni Hj Abbas, of Abrahams Davidsons and Co, submitted several considerations in order to allow the defendant to retract her plea.

The defence alleged that although the defendant understood the charges, she would have raised some factual considerations had she been represented on the day she was charged and also said in the intervening two years between the police raiding her house and being called to appear in court, she was not given any indication to prepare for the case.

“The accused must at least be given time and opportunity to consider what the plea would be seeing as the offences are serious carrying a penalty of up to five years’ imprisonment,” he said.

The prosecution countered by saying that the plea was read to the defendant in her native tongue, Malay, which she understood and that the nature of the offence was similar save for differences in the dates of the offence and the identity of the victims.

The presiding magistrate, Azrimah Hj Abd Rahman, adjourned the case to consider the application until the next mention on May 7, when it will be decided whether to accept or reject the application.

The Brunei Times