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ALOR STAR: A religious teacher yesterday pleaded guilty in the High Court here to culpable homicide not amounting to murder of a 7-year-old pupil last year.
Hanif Mohd Ali, 28, admitted committing the offence against Year One pupil Saiful Syazani Saiful Sopfidee at the warden's office of the boys' hotel at Sekolah Rendah Agama Al-Furqan, Arau, Perlis, between 6pm and midnight on March 31 last year.
Judicial commissioner Mohd Zaki Abdul Wahab said the court would deliver its verdict today.
Hanif, who doubled up as a hostel warden, had earlier been charged with murder under Section 302 of the Penal Code, which provided for the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
Hanif was ordered to make his defence on the alternative charge.
Instead, he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge under Section 304(a) of the Code, which provided for a maximum jail term of 30 years upon conviction.
Hanif, who was seen shedding tears, pleaded to the court to impose a lenient sentence to enable him to repent.
However, deputy public prosecutor Noorin Badaruddin pressed for a deterrent sentence, saying the court had to consider the public interest element in this case.
"The victim was a 7-year-old who had been at the school for just three months.
"The accused abused his powers. The victim should have been educated, not abused.
"Religion does not permit abuse in the name of education.
"The victim was alleged to have committed theft but the penalty was not commensurate with the offence.
"He was tied up, beaten and strangled to the point of denying oxygen to the brain, which resulted in his death." Bernama