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Friday, March 30, 2018

Maid abuser 'Datin' sentenced to 8 years

SHAH ALAM - A housewife who made headlines last week for failing to appear in court for a review of her mild sentence for maid abuse finally showed up – ­covered in black from head to toe

Rozita Moha-mad Ali (pic), 44, who two weeks ago received a five-year good behaviour bond for thrashing her Indonesian domestic ­helper in 2016, had her sentence increased to eight years’ jail.

Judicial Commissioner Datuk Seri Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah ordered Rozita to serve her jail term immediately. He also rejected her lawyer’s application for a stay of execution of the jail sentence.

Rozita had pleaded guilty before a Sessions judge on March 15 to an amended charge of causing ­grievous hurt to Suyanti Sutrinso, 21, with a kitchen knife, mop, hanger and umbrella at a house in Mutiara Damansara on June 21, 2016.

Suyanti, who is from Medan, was only 19 when the abuse took place.

Rozita, who was earlier mistaken as a Datin by the media, was initially charged with attempted murder.

When arguing for Rozita at the High Court yesterday, counsel Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla pleaded for the minimum sentence on the grounds that Rozita was a housewife and that Suyanti had also withdrawn the police report.

But DPP Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad asked for a deterrent sentence, citing the case involved public interest and that it had created ­serious ramifications.

“This case has also strained ­bilateral ties between Malaysia and Indonesia,” said Muhamad Iskandar.

In passing the sentence, JC Tun Abdul Majid said the earlier sentence is not commensurate with the crime.

“In my view, the court bond was incorrectly issued and it did not fit the offence,” he said.

On Mohamed Haniff’s contention that the victim had withdrawn her police report against Rozita, JC Tun Abdul Majid said once a police report has been lodged, the matter was no longer between the complainant and the accused.

“It becomes a case of the state and there is no significance if the complainant withdraws her police report.

“It is then up to the Attorney-General to pursue the case if there is sufficient evidence,” he said.

Rozita appeared calm after the sentencing and had a lengthy discussion with her team of lawyers led by Mohamed Haniff.

Before she was handcuffed and led out of court, Rozita pinned part of her headscarf to cover the lower part of her face.

Rozita’s initial light sentence had thrown the general public into a furious frenzy and thousands of protest signatures were collected via online petitions.

Subsequently, the Attorney-General filed for a review of the sentence imposed by the Sessions Court.

The case first drew public ire after a video of Suyanti lying injured by the side of a drain went viral on social media recently.

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