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 committing physical sexual assault on a Year Six student four years ago.

Abidin Abdullah’s appeal against his jail sentence was struck out by the three-member panel of judges led by Justice Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail.

Justice Hadhariah, who sat with Justices Datuk Azman Abdullah and Datuk 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 as a person who had a relationship of trust that is a teacher, of committing physical sexual assault on the 12-year-old boy in Shah Alam, Selangor between Sept 21, 2019 and Oct 5, the same year.

The man was sentenced to 15 years’ jail and two strokes of the cane for each charge. He was ordered to serve the sentence concurrently from the date of his arrest on Oct 7, 2019, which means he will serve a prison term of 15 years and be given 14 strokes of the cane.

The Sessions Court also ordered Abidin to undergo rehabilitation counselling for 10 years pursuant to Section 26 (1) of the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 as well as police supervision for three years after he completed the jail sentence.

He lost his appeal which was dismissed by the High Court on Aug 12, last year.

Lawyer Mohamad Zaidan Daud representing Abidin initially asked the court to reduce his client’s jail sentence.

Justice Azman, however, said the court can make an order for the 15 years imprisonment term to run consecutively which means Abidin’s jail sentence would be increased as the offences committed by Abidin were separate transactions.

After consulting his client, Mohamad Zaidan informed the court that his client wished to withdraw the request.

Deputy public prosecutor Solehah Noratikah Ismail appeared for the prosecution.–Bernama

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