Four-year jail term for outraging 13-year-old’s modesty

National 3 minutes, 38 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

A BRUNEIAN man was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment and three strokes of the cane yesterday at the Magistrates’ Court for outraging the modesty of his stepdaughter and consuming drugs.

The 30-year-old local, whose name is being withheld to protect the identity of the underaged victim, had earlier claimed trial over the charges and the trial was in its second day yesterday when the defendant had a change of heart and pleaded guilty instead.

The defendant had first committed the offence on a night sometime in March this year when the 13-year-old victim, who sleeps in the same room as the defendant and her mother, was awakened by the defendant repeatedly touching her left waist.

She was startled when she realised what the defendant had been doing and slapped the defendant’s arm away before running to her grandmother’s room to sleep while still crying.

The victim then complained to her mother, who is the defendant’s wife, in the morning who then confronted the defendant about it.

However, the defendant claimed that he was merely putting a blanket over the victim while she was still sleeping at the time.

The second incident occurred on another night in the same month when the defendant attempted to pull down the victim’s pants while she was sleeping.

The victim was awakened by this but the defendant tried to play it off by telling the victim to give milk to her infant stepbrother as he was crying.

However, when the victim looked over to her younger stepbrother in the same room, the infant was asleep and not crying at all like the defendant had said.

The final incident occurred on yet another night in March 2016 while the victim was asleep while wearing a zipper jacket.

The defendant then pulled the zipper partly down, intending to grope the victim’s chest, but the victim suddenly awoke from the sound of the zipper being pulled down.

The defendant was startled when he realised that the victim was awake and he immediately jumped back on to the bed next to his sleeping wife while the victim ran out of the room crying to sleep with her grandmother in a separate room again.

On May 3 this year, a doctor at the Sungai Asam clinic received information from the victim’s cousin that she was being molested by the defendant and a report was then lodged to the Women and Children Abuse Investigation Unit.

An investigation was immediately launched on the incident led by Cpl 4256 Jeffrey and the defendant was arrested on the same day.

During questioning, the defendant, who had a previous conviction for drug use in 2009, told the investigators that he had felt aroused each time he saw his stepdaughter asleep on the mattress and that it was due to his drug use at the time.

A urine sample was also taken from the defendant which was sent to the Department of Scientific Services for analysis which later tested positive for the presence of methylamphetamine.

The presiding Senior Magistrate Hj Nabil Daraina PUKDPSSU Hj Badaruddin then sentenced him to one year’s imprisonment and three strokes of the cane for outraging the victim’s modesty and three years for his consumption of the Class A substance.

In addition to the defendant having to serve his time in jail, the defendant’s mother had also been ordered to serve a few hours behind bars on the first day of trial two days ago as a reprimand for attempting to tamper with investigations.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Shamsuddin Hj Kamaluddin had made a complaint to the presiding senior magistrate on Monday that he had heard from the victim that the defendant’s mother had approached the victim to try and persuade the victim to have the case withdrawn “in exchange for buying her nice things”.

When the defendant’s mother was called forward by the senior magistrate to explain herself, she tried to argue that she had been merely “trying to advise the girl to think about how her living conditions would change” as a result of the case.

However, the senior magistrate was not amused by her actions and ordered for her to be detained at the court cells for a few hours before she was reproduced before court again towards the end of Monday’s proceedings.

The Brunei Times