Apologetic teenager admits setting dog on fire

JOHOR BARU: An 18-year-old teenager pleaded guilty at the Sessions Court here to the charge of animal abuse after setting a dog on fire last month.

The teen, Braden Yap Hong Sheng, who is still studying, made the plea after the charges were read to him in Mandarin by the court interpreter in front of Judge Datuk Che Wan Zaidi Che Wan Ibrahim yesterday.

According to the charge sheet, Yap had caused excruciating pain to a brown female dog by beating it and setting it on fire.

The act was conducted at 1.49am on March 27 (Wednesday) along Jalan Impian Emas 22, Taman Impian Emas.

The act is an offence under Section 29 (1) (e) of the Animal Welfare Act 2015, which carries a fine of at least RM20,000 to RM100,000 or imprisonment of up to three years, or both, if found guilty.

The prosecution was conducted by the Veterinary Services Department prosecution officer, Mohd Zamri Ishak, while Yap was represented by P. Rajagunaseelan.

During the trial, Rajagunaseelan had requested that the court postpone the sentence to another day as the lead counsel for Yap, G. Sritharan, was not present.

The court then set April 18 for the sentence hearing and submission of the facts.

Facing the music: Yap arriving at the Sessions Court in Johor Baru. — THOMAS YONG/The StarFacing the music: Yap arriving at the Sessions Court in Johor Baru. — THOMAS YONG/The Star

Earlier, Johor Baru North acting OCPD Supt Fariz Ammar Abdullah said a police report regarding the incident had been lodged at 2.59pm on March 27.

He said that the incidents were believed to have taken place near a veterinary clinic in Taman Impian Emas in Skudai.

Yap was first caught on closed-circuit television (CCTV) abusing stray dogs at 11.02pm on March 8, where he threw items at the dogs in a stairwell.

A March 14 CCTV recording then showed the suspect arriving on a bicycle before he threw what looked like rocks at the dogs.

Then on March 19, the suspect once again abused the animals and even set one of them on fire. The blazing animal could be seen running out of the stairwell.

His actions have angered netizens, with many condemning him for hurting the animals.

Yap then posted a video in which he admitted he was wrong and said he hoped that the public could give him a second chance.

“I understand that no matter how I explain it, I should not have done that. I admit my mistake.

“I am very sorry and promise not to make a similar mistake in the future. I hope everyone can give me another chance.

“I will also pay for the treatment (of the injured dogs),” he said in a video posted on Facebook on March 31.

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