Crime & Courts

Man gets 35 years jail for killing wife

KOTA KINABALU: An unemployed man who murdered his wife four years ago was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment by the High Court here today.

Alip Abu Bakar, 64, was fortunate as he was sentenced following the amendment made to Section 302 of the Penal Code that came into force on July 4, this year.

Pursuant to Section 39 of the Abolition Of Mandatory Death Penalty Act 2023, if a person is convicted by any court for the commission of an offence under, inter alia, Section 302 of the Penal Code, the person, whether at trial or on appeal, shall be sentenced in accordance with the provisions of the Code as amended by this Act, even if the offence was committed before the date of coming into operation of this Act.

Under the Act, the court has the discretion to sentence the accused to death, or imprisonment between 30 years and 40 years, and if not sentenced to death, the convict shall also be punished with 12 strokes of a whipping.

However, no whipping was imposed on Alip as he is above 50 years of age.

High Court Judge Leonard David Shim made the decision on Alip after he was found guilty of killing his wife Ayang Hamjani, 61, at 1.45am, on June 17, 2019 at a unit of the Permai factory worker's quarters, Likas.

The offence, under Section 302 of the Penal Code originally carries a mandatory death penalty upon conviction.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Ali Imran who conducted the trial had called four witnesses while the accused was the sole witness during his defence.

Assigned counsels Shahlan Jufri and Mohd Luqman Syazwan Zabidi Md Zain represented the accused.

During mitigation, Shahlan among others asked for 30 years imprisonment to be imposed on Alip under the Abolition Of Mandatory Death Penalty Act 2023 and no whipping since the accused is 64 years old.

He also submitted that the accused was a first-time offender, remorseful, and that there was no torturing evidence or abuse towards the deceased.

"The accused and the deceased had a quarrel before the stabbing incident. The actions of the accused during the incident only showed he was immensely angry over the handphone incident. Hence, it was demonstrated that the act of the accused was not premeditated," he said adding that the deceased did not die immediately after the stab.

The victim arrived at the hospital at 2:26am and was pronounced dead at 4:05am.

DPP Siti Hajar Mazlan who appeared for the prosecution in today's hearing urged for heavy punishment saying among other things that the accused has shown no remorse.

She submitted that the accused's justification to kill his wife was simply because she was playing on her phone.

There was clear intention from the accused to make sure his wife was dead as after he had stabbed her, he didn't let go of the wife and didn't let his son come and rescue her, she said.

The accused was ordered to run his custodial sentence from the date of arrest - June 17, 2019.

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