Friday, July 25, 2008

RM5000 Magistrate!!

I went to a Community Service Forum a couple of days ago. It was very useful for my line of work. On top of that, the food was excellent.

There I met the Social Service Officers that would appear in my Court. As I was talking to one of them, he informed me that amongst the youthful offenders, I am known as the RM5000 Magistrate.

Hahaha, it is not that I can be bought with (only) RM5000! The section that I deal with daily is Section 42 of the Road Transport Act 1987. The sentence laid down under the law is for a mandatory imprisonment of not more than 5 years and minimum fine of RM5000 and not more than RM15000. Since I would always opt for these sentences instead of granting a bond of good behaviour or Community Service, hence the reason why the young mat rempits regard me as the RM5000 Magistrate!!! Funny la they all...

I had this case today. The chap was around 18 years old and was caught riding his motorcycle dangerously and recklessly. He was charged under S. 42(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987. If he is convicted, he shall be imprisoned not more than 5 years and fined RM 5000 minimum. He pleaded guilty to committing the Mat Rempit act.

Now, apparently, he was also convicted for dishonestly receiving stolen property by another Magistrate some couple of months ago and was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment . He was still serving his 6 months imprisonment when he was brought before me and had a couple of months left.

Looking at the facts of the case, what he did was just a wheelie and he beat some traffic lights while he was "enjoying his moment". Then he was caught. Apparently he was aggressive during his arrest.

Now, I felt that he must've had a tough time being in prison for 6 months. What I did was this. I accepted his guilty plea as there was nothing to disqualify it. After considering his mitigating factors and Social Report (the Court has the discretion to request for a social report for young offenders between the age of 18-21), I jailed him for 1 month and fined him RM 5000 (in default of paying the fine, he will be subject to 1 month imprisonment) apart from cancelling his "L" licence, endorsing the crime in his licence and forbidding him to apply for a driving licence for 2 years. The endorsement order will apply whenever he applies for a licence after 2 years from today.

My reasoning is this. I doubt the chap's father's capability to pay the RM 5000 fine. Taking the worst case scenario, if his father does not pay, he will stay in prison for two months. In about 2 and a half months he will be released. I made sure that his conviction and sentence for the traffic offence would be served concurrently with his other offence. No point in keeping him in prison for too long. Hopefully he turns over a new leaf and stays away from his old friends.

I met him when he was being transferred back to Kajang Prison. I told him my rational and I vehemently warned him to stop his antics when he is released. He understood my rational and thank me for such discretion. I thought he was sincere. I hope he is... It's for his own good...

Blog Adjourned...

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