PUTRAJAYA: A former lorry driver was sentenced to 35 years in prison and 12 strokes of the cane by the Federal Court here Wedneday (Nov 29) for the murder of his girlfriend seven years ago.
A three-judge panel led by Chief Justice of Malaya Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah handed down the sentence against N. Sanderasegaran, 35, after allowing the prosecution's appeal to reinstate the original charge against the man in accordance with Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.
"The court found there was merit in the appeal by the appellant (prosecution) and agreed with the prosecution's argument that the Court of Appeal erred when amending the charge from Section 302 of the Penal Code to Section 304(a) of the Penal Code (causing death).
"Therefore, we allow the prosecution's appeal. However, we have the discretion to either impose the death penalty or imprisonment (between 30 and 40 years)," said Judge Mohamad Zabidin who ordered the respondent (Sanderasegaran) to serve the prison sentence from the date of arrest, which was Feb 28, 2016.
Sitting with Judge Mohamad Zabidin at today's proceedings are Federal Court Judge Mary Lim Thiam Suan and Judge Nordin Hassan.
Sanderasegaran was sentenced to death by the Ipoh High Court in Perak on Oct 2, 2018, for the murder of S. Durga Devi, 17, in a house in Kampung Batu Besi, Ladang Sengat, Simpang Pulai, between 11pm on Feb 27, 2016, and 6am the following day.
However, on March 15, 2022, the Court of Appeal substituted the mandatory death sentence with 20 years in prison for causing the woman's death.
Earlier, Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Fairuz Johar asked the court to impose the maximum prison sentence of 40 years taking into account that the victim was a weak woman and the autopsy report found that there were 129 injuries on the victim's body.
"Based on the testimony of the pathologist, it is clear that the cause of death of the victim was due to head injuries," he said.
Lawyer Charan Singh, representing Sanderasegaran, requested a prison sentence of about 30 years on the grounds that his client had no previous record.
"My client was arrested on Feb 28, 2016, and he has been in jail since that date," said Charan Singh, who was assisted by lawyer Noor Farihah Arshad. - Bernama