KUALA LUMPUR: Businessman Kenneth Lee Fook Mun @ Omar Iskandar was jailed for eight years by the High Court here yesterday after he was found guilty of committing culpable homicide not amounting to murder by causing the death of an accountant three years ago.
Justice S. Augustine Paul, who ordered Lee’s sentence to start from his date of arrest on Aug 22, 2000, held that the facts of the case were insufficient to rule that Lee had committed the murder of Lee Good Yew.
“I am satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that the state of intoxication of the accused at the material time precluded him from forming the necessary intention,” said Justice Paul.
“Accordingly, I find the accused guilty of an offence under Section 304(b) of the Penal Code. The charge against the accused under murder cannot therefore stand,” he said, reading from a 225-page judgment.
Lee, a grandson of former finance minister Tun H.S. Lee, was accused of shooting Good Yew, 54, in Jalan Istana Baru on Aug 22, 2000.
He was charged on Aug 30, 2000, under Section 302 of the Penal Code, which carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
He pleaded not guilty and on Nov 9, 2001, was ordered to enter his defence, testifying that he was not a violent person and could not remember shooting Good Yew that day.
Justice Paul said the defence had failed to establish that Lee was undergoing a hypoglycaemic episode (low sugar level in the blood) at the time which it claimed led to Lee’s actions.
“There was no evidence to show the accused had a history of hypoglycaemia,” he said.
“In the light of my finding on hypoglycaemia, the alternative defence submission of intoxication becomes a live issue.
“In view of the similarity of the symptoms of hypoglycaemia and intoxication, as testified by the experts, the behaviour of the accused at the material time must have been caused by intoxication,” said Justice Paul.
He said Lee’s incontinence when brought to the police station after the incident would throw light on the stage of intoxication at the time of the incident.
He said in accordance with the Dubowski Chart, it would have been at the upper level.
“This would mean that his blood alcohol level at the time of the incident would have been very much higher than what was revealed by the samples taken at 1.20am after the incident.
“It follows that he would have had more than six glasses of beer. The defence of intoxication can be established without the support of scientific evidence.”
Prior to sentencing, Justice Paul said being intoxicated with the use of a lethal weapon carried a heavy responsibility.
After sentencing, Lee was seen hugging his crying wife Noorsalasawati Mohd Taib.
Earlier, Lee’s lead counsel Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah mitigated that his client had no previous convictions and felt totally remorseful over the incident.
Referring to Lee’s conduct at the police station after his arrest, he said:
“The fact that Lee broke down and cried and apologised to his own family for the shame he had brought them indicated remorse of the highest order.’’
Lee, he said, also wished to apologise to Good Yew’s family and the public for the incident.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil said public interest was the paramount consideration in what was a serious offence.
“He should be thankful that he escaped the death penalty and I ask the court to impose the maximum sentence,” said DPP Abdul Karim.
Asked how he felt after the sentencing, Good Yew's husband Peter Chan said:
“What I feel about the sentence is not important ... It will not bring back my wife.
“He took my wife away. The best person to direct the question is the accused. Both my daughters were 16 and 19 years old when they lost their mother. It is very hard but I am learning how to be a mother to them.
“Life has to go on.”
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