Housewife jailed after losing maid abuse appeal

PUTRAJAYA: A housewife who abused her Indonesian maid in 2016 has been sent to jail after she failed to set aside her eight-year jail sentence.

A three-man bench of the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal by Rozita Mohamad Ali here yesterday. She will begin serving her sentence at the Kajang Women’s Prison today.

Justice Kamaludin Md Said, who chaired the panel, said the High Court was correct in its decision to sentence Rozita to a jail term on March 29,2018.

In the unanimous decision, Justice Kamaludin said Rozita’s appeal had no merits as the High Court had jurisdiction to review her sentence by the Sessions Court that imposed a good behaviour bond for five years with a RM20,000 surety.

“It is the court’s view that the High Court has jurisdiction to review and amend the sentence on grounds of propriety of the sentence.

“The sentence handed down by the High Court was the current sentencing trend for such offences at that time, ” he said.

The judge added that in other cases involving offences of voluntarily causing grievous hurt under Section 326 of the Penal Code, higher sentences had been meted out by the court.

“For instance, there are those who were jailed up to 20 years, ” said Justice Kamaludin.

At the same time, the appellate court also dismissed the prosecution’s appeal to increase Rozita’s eight-year jail sentence.

The other judges on the panel were Justices Hadhariah Syed Ismail and Nordin Hassan.

Deputy public prosecutor Ku Hayati Ku Haron appeared for the prosecution while lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdullah represented Rozita.

In December 2016, Rozita was initially charged with attempted murder of her then 19-year-old Indonesian maid Suyanti Sutrinso.

On March 15,2018, the charge was reduced to voluntarily causing grievous hurt under Section 326 of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum 20-year jail sentence.

Rozita pleaded guilty to the lesser charge and admitted causing multiple injuries, including to the head, eyes, hands, feet and internal organs of her maid at a house in Mutiara Damansara between 7am and 12 noon on Dec 21,2016. She had used a kitchen knife, clothes hanger, mop handle and umbrella to inflict the injuries.

Despite the severity of the offence, Petaling Jaya Sessions Court judge Mohammed Mokhzani Mokhtar only sentenced her to a good behaviour bond of RM20,000 for five years.

The “light” sentence sparked a national outcry.

The case was then called up for revision by then Shah Alam High Court judge Justice Tun Majid Tun Hamzah who set aside the Sessions Court’s decision and imposed an eight-year jail term on Rozita after ruling that the bond of five years was inappropriate.

The prosecution then filed an appeal to increase the sentence while Rozita filed a cross-appeal.

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