Man who murdered wife for playing with phone escapes the noose

KOTA KINABALU: A man escaped the death sentence but was sentenced to spend 35 years behind bars for the murder of his wife some four years ago by the High Court here on Wednesday (Sept 27).

High Court Judge Leonard David Shim handed the sentence to Alip Abu Bakar who was found guilty of murdering his wife Ayang Hamjani, 61, after a full trial on Wednesday (Sept 27).

The 64-year-old unemployed man was accused of committing the crime at a unit of the Permai factory worker’s quarters in Likas here at 1.45am on June 17, 2019.

Due to the amendment to Section 302 of the Penal Code effective July this year, the court has the discretion on the imposition of the death penalty as opposed to the mandatory death sentence on conviction originally.

The amendment provides for a jail term of between 30 and 40 years, if found guilty.

Besides that, male offenders would also be punished with not less than 12 strokes of the cane.

However, because Alip was aged above 50, no whipping sentence was imposed.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohamed Ali Imran had called four witnesses to testify during the course of the trial while the accused was the sole witness during his defence.

Assigned counsels Shahlan Jufri and Mohd Luqman Syazwan Zabidi Md Zain appeared for the accused.

Shahlan, during mitigation, had requested the court to impose a 30-year jail sentence on Alip under the Abolition of Mandatory Death Penalty Act 2023 and no whipping.

The accused, he also submitted, was a first-time offender besides feeling remorseful, adding there was no evidence of torture or abuse towards the victim.

However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Siti Hajar Mazlan who prosecuted in Wednesday’s proceedings instead urged the court to pass a heavy sentence, submitting that, among others, the accused has not shown any remorse.

She told the court that the accused had murdered his wife simply because she was playing with her phone.

She further submitted that the accused had clearly wanted to ensure his wife was dead as he refused to let her go after stabbing her.

The accused also would not allow his son to come to her rescue, she added.

The court ordered the accused to serve his custodial sentence from June 17, 2019 which was the day he was arrested.

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