PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): A canteen operator who brutally bashed his girlfriend to death and then slept with her corpse for a night before burning it the next morning had his death sentence upheld by the Court of Appeal for murder.
A three-member bench led by Justice Kamardin Hashim held that Abd Khalid Md Isa's conviction was safe.
"We find that from the appeal record, it is evident that the appellant (Abd Khalid) himself had pleaded guilty to the charge.
"He understood the nature and consequence of his plea and he admitted to the facts of the case," Justice Kamardin said on Tuesday (April 30).
He said the then Judicial Commissioner Datuk Azmi Ariffin (now a High Court judge) had complied with section 178(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code before accepting Abd Khalid's plea of guilt and convicted him of murder.
Justice Kamardin who sat with Justices Yaacob Md Sam and Lau Bee Lan, said Abd Khalid's appeal did not have merit.
In July 2016, the High Court had sentenced Abd Khalid to death after he pleaded guilty to the charge of murdering Rohani Hashim, 30, at his house in Jalan Pengkalan Datuk Keramat in Bukit Tengah, Bukit Mertajam between Sept 29 at about 3pm and Oct 1, 2014, at about 6.40pm.
However, in December the same year, the Court of Appeal sent the case back to the High Court for a retrial after ruling that his conviction was not safe.
Although he was represented by counsel, Abd Khalid, 48, once again pleaded guilty to the murder charge before Justice Azmi who had then convicted Abd Khalid and sentenced him to death.
At the High Court, Abd Khalid admitted to the facts of the case presented by the prosecution.
Police investigation revealed that Abd Khalid had repeatedly hit Rohani's head with a spanner and smashed her head against a pillar in the living room, which resulted in her death.
According to the facts of the case, Abd Khalid's nephew, who lived with him, saw Rohani lying underneath a blanket unmoving while Abd Khalid, who looked anxious, proceeded to lie down beside her.
The next day, when Abd Khalid was not in the house, his sister and nephew went to the house and found bloodstains under the living room carpet and under the sofa.
They also saw embers from a fire behind his house.
Upon examination, Abd Khalid's sister found pieces of flesh, teeth and bones among the ashes.
Police who subsequently arrested Abd Khalid found a black plastic bag buried under a palm tree containing bone fragments and a human skull.
The DNA analysis confirmed that the charred remains belonged to Rohani.
In requesting for a retrial, Abd Khalid's lawyer P.G. Cyril said the Judicial Commissioner should have sought clarification on Abd Khalid's mental condition, who was receiving psychiatric treatment at that time.
Deputy public prosecutor Samihah Rhazali argued that Abd Khalid was twice sent for psychiatric observation in 2016 and 2017 and the doctor confirmed that he was fit to stand trial and to enter a plea. – Bernama