Teenager who set dog on fire in Johor eludes public caning after High Court overturns sentence

Teenager who set dog on fire in Johor eludes public caning after High Court overturns sentence

JOHOR BAHRU: The Johor Bahru High Court has overturned a caning sentence for an 18-year-old teenager who was charged for animal abuse and setting a dog on fire.

Braden Yap Hong Sheng was sentenced by the Johor Bahru Sessions Court in April to receive seven strokes of light caning and be placed on a good behaviour bond for one year with a surety of RM10,000 (US$2,200). The caning was due to be carried out on Sunday (May 21) in court. 

However, on Sunday morning, High Court Judge Abu Bakar Katar ruled that the caning sentence be overturned but upheld the 1-year good behaviour bond.

He said that the sentence was overturned based on the wording of Section 293 of Malaysia’s Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). 

The judge explained that according to the CPC, a male youth offender convicted of any offence may be whipped with a light cane within the court premises instead of awarding any term of imprisonment or good behaviour bond – but not both. 

Speaking to reporters after the High Court ruling, Yap’s lawyer G K Sritharan confirmed that his client would now only serve the 1-year good behaviour bond.

“We were summoned by the High Court this morning by Justice Abu Bakar and we were informed of the judgement,” said Mr Sritharan. 

“So (my client) should not get involved in any offences in the future, especially so for the next 12 months,” he added. 

Mr Sritharan also said that his client’s hand was fractured during the incident with the dog and that caning could inflict further injury. 

“One arm was already broken and he has not recovered fully from it. And to inflict harm on him now may be too harsh, I don’t know,” said Mr Sritharan. 

“Of course, the (overturning of the caning sentence) will make this case viral again – they will say ‘it’s not fair’ etc, but it will be ok. My client can go on with his life,” he added.