KUALA LUMPUR: A teenager was sentenced to ten days in jail and fined RM4,000 by the Selayang Magistrate’s Court on Thursday (Jan 13) after pleading guilty to attempting to steal a mosque’s donation box.
Magistrate Nik Mohd Fadli Nik Azlan meted out the sentence against Daniel Iskandar, 19, after he pleaded guilty to attempting to steal the box from the Al Islahiah Mosque by dragging and hiding it in the bathing room for funerary rites at the mosque in Kuang, Rawang here, at 11.58 pm on Jan 8.
The charge was framed in accordance with Section 380 of the Penal Code read together with Section 511 of the code which provides for a maximum jail term of 10 years and a possible fine.
“I plead guilty,” said the young man who was clad in a blue T-shirt when asked by the court interpreter to make his plea.
Prior to sentencing, Nik Mohd Fadli reprimanded the accused over his actions.
“Do you know what you have done wrong? The money which had been contributed for the community and the development of the mosque, you stole and kept it in the mortuary. I hope this serves as a lesson and a wake-up call for you,” said Nik Mohd Fadli.
The court also ordered the unemployed accused to serve his jail term from the date of arrest on Jan 9, adding that he would be jailed for another five months if he failed to pay the fine.
Earlier, Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Nur Iman Wan Ahmad Afzal requested that the court hand down a deterrent punishment against the accused and to prevent others from committing a similar act.
Lawyer Azman Abdullah, who represented Daniel, requested leniency on the grounds that this was his client’s first offense and he had repented.
“My client has apologised to the court and the mosque. The reason he did it (tried to steal) was because he needed money to buy medicine for his grandfather who is diabetic. He tried to ask people, but they couldn’t help him,” he said.
“My client is the eldest of three siblings and his parents have been divorced since he was eight years old. He lives with his grandfather who in his 70s, and life is not easy for them. Even their food and drink comes from the donation of their neighbours, added Azman, who was representing Daniel pro-bono.
Azman said although it was wrong for the accused to steal, the action of the parties who took the video and spread it on social media was not appropriate, as it had put unnecessary pressure on the accused and his family.
A video of Daniel being bathed in the manner of a corpse by mosque authorities had been uploaded to social media, where it went viral.
Based on the facts of the case, on the day of the incident, the complainant who was a caretaker at the mosque found the mosque’s donation box was missing. Based on closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage, it was found that a man had damaged the donation box before dragging and hiding it in the body bathing room.
The complainant and members of the mosque committee suspected that the man lived near the mosque, and when they patrolled the area, they came across the individual seen in the CCTV footage before approaching him and asking if he had broken into the mosque and stolen the donation box.
The young man later admitted that he committed the act, after which the mosque committee members apprehended him and contacted the police. – Bernama