PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal today upheld the 15-year jail sentence and 14 strokes of the cane imposed on a former tabligh (religious) teacher for seven counts of physical sexual assault on a Year Six student four years ago.
Abidin Abdullah’s appeal against his jail sentence was dismissed by a three-member panel of judges led by Justice Hadhariah Syed Ismail.
Hadhariah, who sat with Justices Azman Abdullah and Azmi Ariffin, said Abidin’s conviction and jail sentence are affirmed.
“A mature adult should be a good example to the young, especially students,” she said.
Abidin, 50, was found guilty by the sessions court on Oct 11, 2021, on seven charges of committing physical sexual assault on the 12-year-old boy in Shah Alam, Selangor, between Sept 21 and Oct 5, 2019.
He was sentenced to 15 years jail and two strokes of the rotan for each charge. He was ordered to serve the jail term concurrently from the date of his arrest on Oct 7, 2019, which means he will serve a prison term of 15 years but will still be punished with 14 strokes of the cane.
The sessions court also ordered Abidin to undergo rehabilitation counselling for 10 years as well as police supervision for three years after he completes the jail sentence.
He lost his earlier appeal after it was dismissed by the High Court on Aug 12 last year.
Lawyer Zaidan Daud representing Abidin had initially asked the court to reduce his client’s jail sentence.
Azman, however, said the court could make an order for the 15 years jail term on each charge to run consecutively, thus having him serve even more time in jail, as the offences committed by Abidin were separate transactions.
After consulting his client, Zaidan informed the court that he wished to withdraw the request.
Deputy public prosecutor Solehah Noratikah Ismail appeared for the prosecution.