Judge Harnita Zelda Skinner handed the sentence to Ezzeddin bin Haji Abdul Rahman, 46, after giving consideration to the aggravating factors and weighing on the seriousness of the offences.
The judge, agreeing with Deputy Public Prosecutor Sabrina binti Haji Mahmud’s submissions, highlighted house-trespass with the intention to commit theft as a prevalent offence, which calls for a deterrent sentence.
The court also observed the seriousness of the defendant’s act in stealing the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) uniform, pretending to hold office as a military personnel, and his knowledge – being an ex-navy civilian – that only an authorised uniformed personnel would have in order to enter the guard post.
The court also held that the defendant’s act of impersonation to induce another military personnel is a serious crime, and that it is paramount to discourage such criminal behaviour.
“The defendant is a repeat offender for theft related offences and has not learnt his lesson,” the court said, on pondering to reach a fitting punishment.
The prosecution had also pressed that the defendant’s action could have posed a potential threat to the safety and security of the nation’s assets, and that this type of offence should not be tolerated.
The prosecution revealed in court that Ezzeddin had previously served in the RBN as a civilian boat engine mechanic for 13 years, until his dismissal in 2010, for stealing two boat engines from the RBN.
On May 30, the defendant hitchhiked from his house at 7am towards Muara Beach.
After being given a lift by a stranger and dropped off at a T-junction near Muara Beach, the defendant walked over to the RBN base, which he entered through a fallen gate.
He then approached an old acquaintance’s barrack room.
The defendant’s acquaintance no longer stayed there, as he was in the process of retiring, but still kept some of his belongings at the place.
The defendant entered the room from the back door, using his knowledge of the passcode to the lock combination.
Once inside, he discarded his clothes and changed into a pair of old RBAF uniform belonging to his acquaintance.
The defendant then walked around the base pretending to be a military personnel and walked through a guard post.
The defendant replied to an inquiring personnel on duty at the post that he was headed for the training grounds, but instead went to the jetty.
At the jetty, the defendant checked for keys left behind in the boats to see if he could ignite any of the engines.
Being a former mechanic, the defendant ignited a sea boat engine without the need for a key and left the base to go around Pulau Muara Besar.
At 6.15pm, the defendant returned to the jetty and replied to an inquiring personnel that he had just returned from an island where he said he was conducting an operation.
The defendant was then handed over to the police. - Borneo Bulletin/ANN