by BERNAMA/ graphic by MZUKRI
A SINGLE mother, who was sentenced to 30 days jail by the Magistrate’s Court for defying the Movement Control Order (MCO), heaved a sigh of relief after the High Court here today replaced the jail sentence with fine of RM1,000.
Judicial Commissioner Datuk Norsharidah Awang set aside the jail sentence after allowing a review application which was filed by B. Lisa Christina last April 22.
“I took into account that the applicant (Lisa Christina) is a first time offender and a single mother, as well as having spent her time in jail for eight days. I hope this will teach you a lesson to comply with MCO.
“If you repeat the mistake, I will not hesitate to impose a heavier sentence. Therefore, I set aside the 30-day jail sentence and impose fine of RM1,000, in default two weeks jail,” said Norsharidah.
Lisa Christina, who was sent to Kajang Prison to serve the jail sentence, paid the fine.
The woman, who is a marketing executive, was sentenced to 30 days’ jail by the Petaling Jaya Magistrate’s Court last April 21, after pleading guilty to a charge with gathering in an infected area with three others at a staircase area near a playground at SM1, Taman Subang Mas, Subang Jaya, at about 4.45 pm last April 12.
Their action is a breach of Regulation 11 (1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020, which is enforced under MCO.
Earlier, lawyer Datuk Rajpal Singh, representing Lisa Christina, submitted that the jail sentence imposed on his client was manifestly excessive.
He said the magistrate had failed to consider that his client is a Malaysian, a first time offender, with no previous record and not a serious criminal who often broke the law.
“My client was charged with gathering with three Indonesian men at the staircase area of her home and before she was arrested, she had gone down to buy drinks at a shop near the playground. While she was at the staircase to return home, one of the Indonesian men spoke to her and that was when she was arrested.
“Apart from that, there is also the issue of inconsistency involving the sentence, whereby the magistrate, had on the very same day, meted out fine of RM1,000 fine (each) on two other MCO defiers,” he added.
Rajpal Singh is assisted by lawyer Datuk Suraj Singh.
The prosecution, conducted by deputy public prosecutor Wan Shahida Wan Omar submitted that the jail sentence handed down by the Magistrate’s Court on the woman, who has a six-year-old son, was reasonable, taking into account the seriousness of the offence and public interest.
She said the magistrate took into account all mitigating factors before handing down the sentence on Lisa Christina.
On the claim of inconsistency, she said it was inappropriate to compare the sentence imposed by the Magistrate’s Court on Lisa Christina with the others as the facts of the cases were different.
She said the three Indonesian men who were arrested together with Lisa Christina were also charged in the same Magistrate’s Court and they were also sentenced to 30 days jail.