Robber whose victim died escapes death penalty

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KUALA LUMPUR: A jobless man escaped the death penalty on Thursday when he had the murder charge against him reduced to culpable homicide.

Sasitharan Muniandy pleaded guilty to the alternative charge under Section 304(a) of the Penal Code for causing the death – “without intention” — of retiree Sinnapillai Sundram.

Judicial Commissioner Shariff Abu Samah sentenced him to 22 years in jail, starting from the date of arrest on September 3 last year.

In meting out sentence, JC Shariff told Sasitharan to repent for his action.

“What you did was inhuman. The court has to mete out a deterrent sentence to you as a lesson and that can serve as a warning to the public on the seriousness of the crime,” he said. “You are lucky because the prosecution reduced the (murder) charge. You are given a chance to change your life.”

Sasitharan’s lawyer N. Subramaniyan told the court earlier in mitigation that his client was remorseful and had no intention to kill Sinnapillai.

However, deputy public prosecutor Nurakmal Farhan Aziz asked the court to impose a deterrent sentence as the victim’s death had caused her children and grandchildren to lose the love of a mother and grandmother.

He added that it took the police almost a year to nab the accused. “That showed that he was not remorseful over his action.”

According to the facts of the case, Sasitharan was told by a man named Krishna Singam that Sinnapillai kept jewelry and monies at home. He reportedly urged Sasitharan to break into her house.

On the day of the alleged crime, they broke into the flat unit on the 14th floor, after trailing Sinnapillai home. The duo pushed her down on the floor after she opened the door.

Sasitharan said he came to rob her of the gold and money. He ordered her to keep quiet but she reportedly refused.

He put a cellophane tape on her mouth and tied her limbs, and dragged her into a room.

Sasitharan and the accomplice ransacked a cupboard and threw out all the clothes inside. They found money and jewelry in the cupboard.

They spent about an hour at the home of the victim.

Before they left, Sasitharan threw a pile of clothes at her face. That caused her to suffocate to death.