KUALA LUMPUR: A car wash worker who molested an eight-year-old girl had his jail sentence and whipping increased by the High Court following an appeal yesterday.
Justice Abdull Hamid Embong, who accepted the prosecution’s appeal, increased the sentence on Reduan Ibrahim, 24, from one year to six years and his whipping from three times to six times.
Reduan, who had inserted his finger into the girl’s private part, received his original sentence on July 9 last year from magistrate Norizan Che Meh.
Abdull Hamid said yesterday that the court should give serious consideration to such sexual cases which had become rampant.
He ordered the increased jail sentence to run from the date of arrest on June 12 last year.
In his judgment, Abdull Hamid said the court had to consider the age of the girl in imposing a deterrent sentence on Reduan.
“I think the court will be failing in its duty if it did not enhance the sentence.
“In circumstances where the victim is too young, like this case where she is only eight-years-old, or if the victim is too old, weak or handicapped, the court will not hesitate to impose a deterrent sentence to show the public that it has the responsibility to protect them.
“The respondent (Reduan) is an adult, has a sound mind and had an occupation but the victim is only a child who did not know the dangers in her world. It is quite natural for a child so young to be so trusting of an adult or some stranger.
“Therefore, the sentence must reflect that it is serious in protecting young children such as the victim,” he added.
The judge said he accepted the submissions by the prosecution that the one-year jail sentence imposed by the magistrate’s court was light and not appropriate in view of the gravity of the offence.
He said the court must weigh public interest although Reduan had admitted to the charge and was a first-time offender.
Pleading for leniency earlier, Reduan said the present punishment had given him enough awareness of the crime he had committed.