Labourer gets 20 years’ jail for causing wife’s death

A member of the accused’s family hugging him.

By Dorcas Ting

KUCHING, Feb 12: A 38-year-old labourer was today sentenced to 20 years in jail for causing death by negligence towards his 27-year-old wife in Sri Aman two years ago.

He was initially charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder, which carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

However, High Court judge Ravinthran Paramaguru ruled that there was no evidence to murder, but there was evidence of bodily injuries. He, thus, reduced the charge from Section 302 of the Penal Code to Section 304(a) of the Penal Code, which provides for a maximum 30 years’ imprisonment upon conviction.

The accused, Hang Jebat Charat, was then sentenced to 20 years behind bars from the date of his arrest.

He was accused of causing the death of his wife in a house in Rumah Brandah, Tanjung Rirang, Sri Aman, on March 5, 2017, at about 1.30am.

Prior to the crime being committed, the accused and his wife were drinking liquor with their friends and family members in the longhouse. Both of them later quarrelled over their then 6-month-old baby. The accused, while blaming his wife for not taking care of their baby, then beat his wife.

The victim was found dead in the arms of the accused that fateful day.

DPP Mohd Afif Ali prosecuted, while Tetuan Peli Aron, who was the court-appointed counsel, represented the accused.

During the 9-day trial, the prosecution called 17 witnesses, while the defence called five. — DayakDaily