Court reduces jail sentence on young mother who stole milk, diapers

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court today halved a 10-day jail sentence on a young mother who stole diapers and infant milk powder worth RM291.39.

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan said he took into account 25-year-old Chong Ann Ni’s guilty plea as well as the fact that she was a first offender.

“She had a 15-month-old baby girl whom she has to breastfeed,” said Zaini, who said the infant needed to be with the mother.

Zaini said mothers always do what is best for their children, and Chong’s action was impulsive and without thinking.

Her lawyer Chan Yen Hui said Chong will be freed from Kajang Prison this evening.

The housewife committed the offence at a department store in Mid Valley Megamall on June 2, 2019.

Chan said Chong was driven to commit the offence as her husband had lost his job six months ago.

The offence carries a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine.

Chan said the police did not detain her for questioning but instead gave her bail until she appeared in court on Monday.

Chong pleaded guilty before magistrate M Saravanan and was sentenced to 10 days’ jail on grounds of public interest.

The magistrate also refused to allow the accused, who was represented by a chambering student, to be bound over for good behaviour, as well as a stay of execution pending a revision application to the High Court.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Isa Mohamed today said the jail sentence imposed by the magistrate was within his power but left it to the discretion of the High Court.