PUTRAJAYA: A housewife who stirred controversy for abusing an Indonesian domestic maid four years ago will begin serving her eight-year imprisonment for the offence today following the Court of Appeal’s decision in dismissing her appeal.
The Court of Appeal three man-panel, led by Datuk Seri Kamaludin Md Said, dismissed the appeal by Rozita Mohamad Ali (pix), 46, against the jail sentence meted out by the Shah Alam High Court.
Judge Kamaludin, sitting with Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail and Datuk Nordin Hassan, said that after hearing the submissions by both parties, the court was satisfied that Rozita’s appeal against the decision of the High Court, which exercised the review power under Section 294 of the Criminal Procedure Code, had no merit.
“The High Court has the power to review the decision of the lower court on the basis of propriety of sentence,“ he said.
He said the court was of the opinion that the High Court also had the power to amend the decision of the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court (which imposed a five-year good behaviour bond with bail of RM20,000) under Section 294 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
“The sentence imposed by the High Court Judge is according to the trend at that time, in fact there are severe sentences that have been imposed in other cases.
“Therefore, taking into account the sentence under Section 326 of the Penal Code is imprisonment for up to 20 years, the appellant’s appeal is hereby dismissed and the decision of the High Court is upheld.
“”The prosecution’s appeal to increase the sentence on the appellant is also dismissed,” he added.
The panel made the ruling after hearing the submissions by Rozita’s lawyer, Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, and deputy public prosecutor Ku Hayati Ku Haron, for the prosecution.
Rozita, who looked calm after the court handed down the sentence, was seen talking to some of her lawyers before she was escorted by police to the lockup room to be sent to Kajang Prison to serve her time.
The case caught the attention of many people, especially netizens, after a video showing the victim lying in a critical condition by the drain in a residential area in Mutiara Damansara by security guards, went viral on social media.
Rozita pleaded guilty in the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court on March 15, 2018 to a lesser charge of causing grievous hurt to 19-year-old Indonesian maid Suyanti Sutrinso using a knife, a mop, a clothes hanger, an iron bar, a cat’s toy and an umbrella at a house in Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya, between 7 am and noon on June 21, 2016.
She was initially charged with attempted murder under Section 307 of the Penal Code, but the charge was amended to one of causing grievous hurt.
Rozita escaped jail sentence after Sessions Court Judge Mohammed Mokhzani Mokhtar let her off with a mere good behaviour bond of five years with a surety of RM20,000 which resulted in a public outcry.
The case was then called up for revision by High Court Judge Datuk Seri Tun Majid Tun Hamzah who reversed the Sessions Court decision and imposed an eight-year jail term on Rozita after ruling that the bond of five years was inappropriate.-Bernama