crime punishment sentence

crime punishment sentence

A decision of the High Court from Singapore Law Watch : Public Prosecutor v Haliffie Bin Mamat [2015] SGHC 224. Below are excerpts from the judgment.

Background Facts

  1. A woman who took a lift in a stranger’s car in the early hours of the morning complained that he raped her and robbed her of her handbag.
  2. The Accused claimed trial to both charges. His position was that he did not rape her because they had consensual sex, and that he had not taken any items from the handbag.

Evidence

  1. The Accused provided the strong evidence of his guilt in his cautioned statement.
  2. The statement was a cautioned statement, and regard must be given to the process of recording it. The Accused was first informed that he was facing a charge of having sex with her without her consent, and he was warned that if he did not state his defence to the charge, that may have a bad effect when the case went to court. After he was informed and warned, he made his statement. At that time he directed his mind to the sex with V when he stated “…I don’t know why I cross over, my mind, to have sex with the girl” (and at the same time, there is nothing in the statement which suggested that he was thinking of the robbery he committed), but he did not say that the sex was not without consent, and that she was a willing partner. Instead of denying the charge, he stated that he hoped that he would receive a light sentence, and that he would apologise to her in person. A reasonable objective reading of the statement is that he admitted to the charge.
  3. Accused was found guilty of both charges.

Sentence

  1. The first question is then—does the one-transaction rule apply in this case? The rape and the robbery formed a single invasion in terms of time, but the interests affected were distinct interests. V’s right to personal safety was violated when she was raped, and her property rights were violated when she was robbed. As the offences did not come within the one-transaction rule, the case for a concurrent sentence did not arise.
  2. The rape fell under Category 1 rapes, which was defined as rapes with no aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
  3. The Accused was sentenced to 10 years with 6 strokes for rape and 3 years with 12 strokes for robbery, making a total of 13 years and 18 strokes. This aggregate sentence is in conformity with the one-transaction rule and the totality principle as the two custodial sentences for the two offences were consecutive, and the aggregate sentence was not substantially higher than the benchmark sentence for rape and not crushing.

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