Crime & Courts

Court upholds death sentence for man who raped, sodomised and murdered 85-year-old woman

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal here today upheld the death sentence of a former lorry attendant for the murder of an 85-year-old woman after raping and sodomising her five years ago.

A panel of three judges led by Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail unanimously dismissed the appeal by K. Sathiaraj, 31, to set aside his conviction and the death sentence handed down by the Shah Alam High Court on Aug 26, 2022.

"We find there is no merit in the appellant's appeal and the conviction is safe. This is a suitable case to be imposed the death sentence. Therefore, the conviction and sentence by the High Court are upheld and the appeal is dismissed," said Hadhariah, sitting with Judge Datuk Azman Abdullah and Datuk S.M.Komathy Suppiah.

Sathiaraj was found guilty of killing the woman in a flat in Kampung Tasik Tambahan, Ampang, Selangor between 11.40am and 1pm on Sept 19, 2019.

He was charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code which provides the mandatory death penalty upon conviction.

Before that, he had pleaded guilty to raping and sodomising the woman and was sentenced to 13 years in jail and five lashes of the cane by the Ampang Sessions Court. He did not appeal against the court's decision.

Earlier, lawyer Hasshahari Johari Mawi, representing Sathiaraj, in his submission, applied the death sentence imposed on his client to be replaced with a prison sentence under the Revision of Sentence of Death and Imprisonment for Natural Life (Temporary Jurisdiction of the Federal Court) Act 2023 that came into force last year.

He was also assisted by lawyer Muhamad Hafizan Shafuan Kamarulzaman.

The prosecution was conducted by Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Fairuz Johari.

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