Crime & Courts

Man who assaulted pregnant wife gets jail, whipping

KOTA KINABALU: A man who attacked his pregnant wife out of jealousy was sentenced to 16 months' imprisonment plus two strokes of the cane by the magistrate's court here.

Jerry James Marcus, 37, had attacked his 34-year-old wife with an iron rod, machete, and a cable tie at 10pm on Jan 1, in a house in Kampung Tenggiling, Manggatal.

The offence under Section 324 of the Penal Code carries a jail term of up to 10 years or with fine or with whipping or any two of such punishments, upon conviction.

Based on the facts of the case, the incident was triggered by a misunderstanding. Jerry accused his wife of cheating on him because she often went to the same location based on the Google map records on her mobile phone.

The wife denied the accusation, but the husband beat her up with a broom, an iron rod, a cable-tie, and a machete.

The victim suffered multiple injuries all over her body.

The investigation also found that the victim and the accused have been married since Dec 11, 2014 and have four children.

The victim is a housewife, and during the incident, all the children were at her in-laws' house. The victim also stated that her husband was a very jealous person.

The victim was unable to shout for help because she feared her husband would act more violently toward her.

On Jan 2, at 5am while her husband was still sleeping, the victim took the opportunity to run away from home and went to lodge a police report which led to the accused's arrest.

During mitigation, the unrepresented accused took a piece of paper from his pocket and read his mitigation to the court.

He asked for leniency saying among others that he was remorseful and sought another chance to turn a new leaf.

He told the court that he needed to be out of jail as soon as possible to get a job as he now has five children to look after. The youngest is just a month old.

To a question by the court, Jerry admitted that the incident occurred while his wife was pregnant, but he claimed that he only slapped the victim. Jerry, however, was mute when the court said that based on the photo evidence, the injuries suffered by the victim were not simply the result of a slap.

Prosecuting officer Inspector Albert Basiri urged for a deterrent sentence due to the seriousness of the offence.

He said this case involved a family matter; thus, a heavy sentence could be a lesson for other husbands not to injure their wives.

Jerry was first charged in court on Jan 13, this year, and was remanded pending the disposal of his case.

He denied his wrongdoing and claimed that he only slapped his wife every time his case was mentioned in court, which prolonged his case.

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