PUTRAJAYA: A self-employed youth, who was dubbed “cosplay killer”, today escaped the gallows for the murder of his teenaged girlfriend whose remains he stuffed in a suitcase.
A three-member Court of Appeal bench chaired by Kamardin Hashim, in substituting the charge to culpable homicide not amounting to murder, said there was merit in Poon Wai Hong’s appeal.
“The conviction for murder is not safe. We are reducing it to culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 304 (a) of the Penal Code,” said Kamardin who sat with judges Rhodzariah Bujang and Mohamed Zabidin Mohd Diah.
Poon, 29, who was represented by Rajpal Singh, was then sentenced to 22 years in jail from the date of his arrest in 2013.
The sentence under Section 304 (a) carries a maximum jail term of up to 30 years.
On April 3 last year the then High Court judge Azman Husin sentenced Poon, to death for the murder of 15-year-old cosplay enthusiast Ng Yuk Tim.
Poon was accused of murdering Ng on Oct 21, 2013 at Kampung Cempaka, Kelana Jaya.
It was previously reported that she was killed by a male friend after he tried to make advances at her.
The incident happened at the man’s house after she had gone to his house to work on cosplay costumes for an event.
The suitcase containing her body was discarded at Jalan Kebun Nenas, Shah Alam, but was found the following day.
The trial court also found that Poon’s testimony contradicted that of the experts called by the prosecution.
However, Rajpal today submitted that there was no eyewitness to show that the deceased was hit by a dumbbell (weight) on her head and body.
He said forensic evidence only revealed that the ring of the dumbbell had the deceased’s blood and the muscle-building equipment had the DNA of the accused.
“The accused’s version is that the deceased bit one of his hands and took a stun gun to immobilise him. He pushed her and she fell and hit the left side of the dumbbell,” the lawyer said.
Rajpal said his client had no intention to commit murder.
The lawyer added that the pathologist did not say to what extent these injuries could lead to death.
“The prosecution did not ask the pathologist if the injuries could cause death as defined under Section 300 of the Penal Code,” he added.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Nurshafini Mustapha said the bench should maintain the findings of the judge who was a trier of fact.
When the bench decided to impose a jail term, she pleaded that it should be for more than 20 years.
Nurshafini later told reporters the prosecution would file an appeal at the Federal Court.
The victim’s family members, including her mother Sim Yee Ling, were present to follow the proceeding.
Lawyer Chan Hen Hui, held a watching brief for the family of the deceased.