Court upholds ex-tabligh teacher's sentence for sexually assaulting student

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has upheld the 15-year jail sentence and 14 lashes imposed on a former tabligh (religious) teacher for seven counts of physical sexual assault on a Year Six student four years ago.

Abidin Abdullah’s appeal against his jail sentence was struck out by the three-member panel of judges led by Justice Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail on Friday (Dec 8).

Justice Hadhariah, who sat with Justices Datuk Azman Abdullah and Datuk Azmi Ariffin, said Abidin’s conviction and jail sentence are affirmed.

"A mature adult should be a good example to the young, especially students,” she said.

Abidin, 50, was found guilty by the Sessions Court on Oct 11, 2021, on seven charges as a person who had a relationship of trust as a teacher, of committing physical sexual assault on the then 12-year-old boy in Shah Alam, Selangor between Sept 21 and Oct 5, 2019.

He was sentenced to 15 years’ jail and two strokes of the cane for each charge.

Abidin was ordered to serve the sentence concurrently from the date of his arrest on Oct 7, 2019, which means he will serve a prison term of 15 years and be given 14 strokes of the cane.

The Sessions Court also ordered Abidin to undergo rehabilitation counselling for 10 years pursuant to Section 26 (1) of the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 as well as police supervision for three years after completing the jail sentence.

He lost his appeal at the High Court on Aug 12 last year.

His lawyer Mohamad Zaidan Daud initially asked the court to reduce the jail sentence.

Justice Azman said, however, the court can make an order for the 15-year term to run consecutively, which means Abidin’s jail sentence would be increased as the offences committed by Abidin were separate incidents.

After consulting his client, Mohamad Zaidan informed the court that Abidin wished to withdraw the request.

Deputy public prosecutor Solehah Noratikah Ismail appeared for the prosecution. – Bernama

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