Court of Appeal upholds 20-year jail sentence in tragic stabbing death of three-year-old

06 Oct 2023 04:02pm
Pix for illustration purposes only. - Photo by 123RF
Pix for illustration purposes only. - Photo by 123RF

PUTRAJAYA - The Court of Appeal today affirmed the 20 years’ jail sentence on an unemployed man for causing the death of his three-year old niece who had 56 stab wounds on her body.

A three-member panel comprising Justices Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera, Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim and Datuk S.M. Komathy Suppiah dismissed Goh Jie Keat’s appeal for a reduction of his jail sentence.

Justice Vazeer, who delivered the court’s decision, said the 20 years’ jail sentence was not manifestly excessive considering the manner in which Goh had caused the girl’s death.

He said Goh’s appeal did not have merit, adding that the High Court judge had applied the correct principle of sentencing when imposing the 20 years’ jail term.

Goh, 27, was initially charged with the murder of Serena Yip Pei Yee at a house in Jalan Kuang Gunung 4, Taman Kepong in Kuala Lumpur, between 7pm and 8pm on June 18, 2018.

After eleven prosecution witnesses testified, Goh submitted representation to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) and his representation was accepted for the murder charge to be reduced to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

On July 13, 2021, the High Court sentenced Goh to 20 years’ jail after he pleaded guilty to culpable homicide not amounting to murder charge. He, however, appealed to the Court of Appeal for a lower jail term.

According to the facts of the case, Goh was cutting a plastic package with a pair of scissors when his niece persistently tease him and asked him to play with her. He could not bear the teasing and stabbed the child. Goh was 21 years old when he committed the offence.

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Post mortem results showed that the child had 56 stab wounds on her body.

Lawyer N. Subramaniyan from the National Legal Aid Foundation asked the court to imposed the jail sentence of between 12 and 15 years, saying it was not a premeditated act but happened at the spur of the moment.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Norzilati Izhani Zainal@Zainol submitted that the sentence was appropriate considering the seriousness of the offence and the deceased was only three-years old. - BERNAMA