Fairus Nizam Bin Shueb v Public Prosecutor

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Page 1 5 MLJ 224, *; [2001] 5 MLJ 224 The Malayan Law Journal FAIRUS NIZAM BIN SHUEB V PUBLIC PROSECUTOR [2001] 5 MLJ 224 CRIMINAL APPEAL NO 42-3 OF 2000 HIGH COURT (IPOH) DECIDED-DATE-1: 4 OCTOBER 2000 PS GILL J CATCHWORDS: Criminal Law - Attempted robbery - Uncorroborated evidence of witnesses - Whether charge proved - Penal Code s 394 Criminal Procedure - Judge - Role of trial judge - Acquittal and reduction of charges - Judge must still evaluate evidence and cite reasons for accepting or re
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  Page 15 MLJ 224, *; [2001] 5 MLJ 224 The Malayan Law JournalFAIRUS NIZAM BIN SHUEB V PUBLIC PROSECUTOR [2001] 5 MLJ 224CRIMINAL APPEAL NO 42-3 OF 2000HIGH COURT (IPOH) DECIDED-DATE-1: 4 OCTOBER 2000PS GILL J CATCHWORDS: Criminal Law - Attempted robbery - Uncorroborated evidence of witnesses - Whether charge proved - Penal Code s 394Criminal Procedure - Judge - Role of trial judge - Acquittal and reduction of charges - Judgemust still evaluate evidence and cite reasons for accepting or rejecting accused's evidence - Whether  judge could convict on uncorroborated evidence HEADNOTES: The appellant was charged under s 394 of the Penal Code for voluntarily causing hurt to thevictim whilst attempting to commit robbery, and under s 326 of the Penal Code for voluntarilycausing grievous hurt with a knife. The victim did not lodge any police report and this was used bythe defence counsel to attack the victim's credibility and the lack of corroborative evidence. Thesessions court judge reduced the second charge from an offence under s 326 to one under s 325 of the Penal Code and convicted the appellant under s 325. The appellant was sentenced to 18 monthsimprisonment. The appellant cross appealed against his conviction and sentence under s 325 and thedeputy prosecutor appealed against the acquittal under s 394 of the Penal Code and the amendmentof the charge under s 326. Held , allowing the deputy prosecutor's appeal against acquittal under s 394 of the Penal Codeand dismissing the cross appeal by the appellant:(1) It was a little disquieting that the sessions court judge did not take pains to analyze the evidence of the appellant against that of the prosecution, even if he was minded to acquit the appellant on the charge of s394 of the Penal Code, and to further reduce the charge of s 326 to s 325 of the Penal Code. It is incumbent for trial judges and magistrates alike toevaluate the evidence and to further cite their reasons for accepting or rejecting the evidence of the appellant, the victim or any other witness (see p 229E-F).(2) There is no mandatory requirement for any corroboration of a witness'sevidence in criminal trials of this nature. Even where corroboration isnormally required, so long as it is clear the trial judge has in mind therisk of convicting on uncorroborated testimony, but nevertheless decides todo so, because he is convinced of the truth of the victim's evidence, suchconviction is not illegal (see p 230G-H).  [*225]    (3) There was sufficient evidence to establish beyond reasonable doubt aconviction under s 394 of the Penal Code. There was an attempted robberyalthough nothing was taken from the victim. An attempt is an act done in partexecution of a criminal design amounting to more than the preparation butfalling short of actual consummation, and possessing except for failure toconsummate, all the elements of the substantive crime. In other words, anattempt consists in the intent to commit a crime, combined with the doing of some act, but falling short of, its actual commission (see p 231B-D).(4) The sentence was increased from 18 months imprisonment to five yearsimprisonment as the act of the appellant against the victim was a dastardlycrime which caused permanent injuries/scarring to the victim's countenance,and it was time for courts to reflect the approbrium of reasonable thinkingsociety towards such crimes (see pp 231G, 231I-232A). Bahasa Malaysia summary Perayu dituduh di bawah s 394 Kanun Keseksaan kerana telah menyebabkan kecederaan kepadamangsa dengan sengaja sementara membuat percubaan untuk melakukan rompakan, dan di bawah s326 Kanun Keseksaan kerana telah menyebabkan kecederaan parah dengan sebilah pisau. Mangsatidak membuat laporan polis dan ini digunakan oleh peguambela untuk menyerangkebolehpercayaan mangsa tersebut serta kekurangan keterangan menyokong (corroboration). Hakimmahkamah sesyen telah mengurangkan pertuduhan kedua daripada kesalahan di bawah s 326kepada kesalahan di bawah s 325 Kanun Keseksaan, dan telah mensabit perayu di bawah s 325.Perayu dikenakan hukuman penjara selama 18 bulan. Perayu telah merayu-balas terhadapsabitannya dan hukumannya di bawah s 325, dan timbalan pendakwa raya merayu terhadap pembebasan perayu di bawah s 394 Kanun Keseksaan, serta terhadap pindaan pertuduhan di bawahs 326. Diputuskan , membenarkan rayuan timbalan pendakwa raya terhadap pembebasan di bawah s394 Kanun Keseksaan dan menolak rayuan-balas perayu:(1) Adalah membimbangkan bahawa hakim mahkamah sesyen tidak menganalisiskan keterangan pihak perayu terhadap keterangan pihak pendakwawalaupun beliau mempertimbangkan pembebasan perayu di bawah pertuduhan s 394Kanun Keseksaan, dan pengurangan pertuduhan daripada s 326 kepada s 325 KanunKeseksaan. Adalah kewajipan hakim dan majistret unruk membuat penilaianketerangan dan memberi alasan-alasan mereka ketika menerima ataupun menolak keterangan pihak perayu, mangsa atau saksi (lihat ms 229E-F).  [*226]  (2) Tidak terdapat keperluan mandatori bahawa keterangan saksi perludisokong di dalam kes-kes jenayah sebegini. Walaupun adalah kebiasaan bahawasokongan diperlukan, selagi hakim telah mempertimbangkan risiko mensabit diatas keterangan yang tidak disokong tetapi masih terus berbuat demikiankerana beliau yakin pada kebenaran keterangan mangsa, sabitan sebegitu tidak menyalahi undang-undang (lihat ms 230G-H).(3) Terdapat keterangan yang mencukupi untuk menentukan satu sabitanmelampaui keraguan yang munasabah di bawah s 394 Kanun Keseksaan. Terdapatsuatu percubaan merompak walaupun tiada apa-apa yang telah diambil daripada  Page 35 MLJ 224, *; [2001] 5 MLJ 224 mangsa. Percubaan merupakan sebahagian daripada perlaksanaan berniat jenayahyang merupakan lebih daripada persediaan tetapi tidak sampai penyempurnaansebenarnya, dan mengandungi, selain daripada kegagalan penyempurnaan, semuaunsur suatu kesalahan. Dalam erti kata yang lain, suatu percubaan merangkupiniat untuk melakukan kesalahan, serta melakukan sebahagian daripada perbuatantersebut, tetapi tidak melakukan perbuatan sebenarnya (lihat ms 231B-D).(4) Hukuman telah ditambah dari 18 bulan ke lima tahun, memandangkankesalahan perayu terhadap mangsa adalah perbuatan pengecut yang menyebabkankecederaan yang kekal/meninggalkan parut di wajah mangsa, dan telah tiba masauntuk mahkamah mengimbaskan pemikiran munasabah masyarakat terhadap jenayah-jenayah sedemikian (lihat ms 231G, 231I-232A).] NotesFor a case on s 394 of the Penal Code, see 4 Mallal's Digest  (4th Ed, 2000 Reissue) para 1436.For cases on role of a trial judge, see 5 Mallal's Digest  (4th Ed, 1997 Reissue) paras 1591-1593.Cases referred to   Amrita Bazar Patrika Press Ltd  (1919) 47 Cal 190   Arumugam s/o Muthusamy v PP  [1998] 3 MLJ 73   Augustine v PP  [1964] MLJ 7  Murugiah v PP  [1941] MLJ 17   R v Turnbull & Ors [1976] 3 All ER 549  Sultan Mohamed v Regina [1952] MLJ 186  Vijayaratnam v PP  [1962] MLJ 106Legislation referred toPenal Code ss 325, 326, 394  Abd Aziz bin Mohd Ali (Attorney General's Chambers) for the appellant.  Elangovan (  Kula & Associates ) for the appellant in the cross appeal. [*227]   LAWYERS:  Abd Aziz bin Mohd Ali (Attorney General's Chambers) for the appellant.  Elangovan (  Kula & Associates ) for the appellant in the cross appeal. JUDGMENTBY: PS GILL J: Fairus Nizam bin Shueb was charged in the sessions court Teluk Intan on the followingcharges:Pertuduhan Pertama:Bahawa kamu pada 26 July 1999 jam sekitar 10.25pm, di bahagianBangunan May Bank, Jalan Ah Cheong, Teluk Intan, di dalam DaerahHilir Perak, di Negeri Perak cuba melakukan rompakan ke atas TanLeong Huat KPT: 690517-08-6005, dan dengan sengaja telah  menyebabkan cedera ke atas orang tersebut iaitu cedera dibahagian hidung dan lengan tangan sebelah kiri dengan menggunakansebilah pisau. Dengan itu telah melakukan kesalahan di bawah s394 Kanun Keseksaan dan boleh dihukum di bawah peruntukan yangsama.Pertuduhan Kedua:Bahawa kamu pada 26 July 1999 lebih kurang pukul 10.25pm, dikawasan hadapan Bangunan Maybank, Jalan Ah Cheong Teluk Intan, diDaerah Hilir Perak, dalam Negeri Perak, telah sengaja menyebabkancedera parah ke atas Tan Leong Huat KPT: 690517-08-6005 denganmenggunakan pisau iaitu satu alat untuk memotong, oleh itu kamutelah melakukan kesalahan di bawah s 326 Kanun Keseksaan danboleh dihukum di bawah peruntukan yang sama.The appellant claimed trial and at the conclusion of his trial he was found guilty of an offenceunder s 325 of the Penal Code. Incidentally the learned sessions court judge had reduced the secondcharge from an offence under s 326 to one under s 325 Penal Code. A sentence of 18 monthsimprisonment was imposed by the learned sessions court judge in respect of the offence under s 325of the Penal Code. A cross appeal was lodged by the appellant against his conviction and sentenceunder s 325 of the Penal Code.An appeal was lodged by the learned deputy prosecutor against the acquittal of the appellantunder s 394, and also the amendment of the charge by the learned sessions court judge in respect of the charge under s 326 Penal Code.On the facts, the narrative of events was as follows:The victim (PW4) and his wife (PW5) had, on 26 July 1999, at 10.20pm, gone to an automaticteller machine along Jalan Ah Cheong in Teluk Intan, in order to withdraw some money. Thevictim's wife had apparently gone down from the car, in order to go towards the cash machine, andleft the victim in the stationary car to attend to their daughter. It was at this point of time that theappellant had got into the car from the rear left back door. The startled victim then asked him whathe wanted to which the appellant allegedly said 'Diam saya nak samun'. The victim noticed that theappellant was holding a knife about five to six inches long. On seeing the knife, the victim panickedand tried to wrest it from the appellant. A scuffle ensued between the victim and the appellant.The victim maintained that he was able to identify the appellant, as the head lights of the car,and the interior lights of the car, were on at that point of time. The streets lights were also on at that point of time. The appellant had a sort of hat on when he entered the car but in the ensuing scufflethe [*228] hat dropped off. The appellant stopped scuffling with the victim when the victim's wife,who on seeing this scuffle, rushed towards the car, and opened the door. As a result of this incidentthe victim suffered permanent scarring to his nose, and lacerations above his eyebrow and mouth.In the cross examination that ensued, the victim was repeatedly asked whether the appellant hadmerely got into the car to ask the victim for a lift, and that it was not for the purpose of wanting torob the victim. The victim was adamant that the appellant had pointedly told him 'Diam, saya nak samun'. The victim denied that he had got the wrong impression, or that he had misheard what theappellant had said on entering the car.The victim's wife -- PW5 in her evidence corroborated in the main, the evidence of the
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