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'Must my kids also grow up in a broken family?'

Published on: Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: The widow of a slain taxi driver on Monday spoke of the pain of having to continue living and fending for her five schoolgoing children without him by her side.

Lee Swee Kin, in giving her impact statement told the High Court that not only was Chin Kin Fun, 42, the sole breadwinner to the family but was tragically killed on his birthday.

"I don't know how to go on living," she said, asking the man who had murdered her husband if her children should also have to grow up in a broken family like he did.

Filipino labourer Joy Filex, 22, was found guilty of the murder of Chin while robbing him at 10.30am on March 14, 2012 along Jalan Padas Valley in Beaufort.

Holding back her tears, Lee said Joy's cruel act had robbed them of the head of the household, leaving her as a single mother with the pain of having to explain what had happened.

She said to this day her children kept asking about their father who had not returned home since the incident.

"You cannot just say that you had no intention to kill my husband and use the excuse that you are from a broken family. The words 'no intention' cannot bring back my husband and father to my children to life," said Lee.

Judge Chew Soo Ho in sentencing Joy to death, ruled that he found the defence had failed to raise a reasonable doubt on the prosecution's case.

The offence under Section 302 of the Penal Code carries the death sentence on conviction.

Chew in his judgement, held among others that the defence submitted that Joy had no intention to kill or inflict bodily injury on Chin when he tied the seatbelt around Chin's neck but did so merely to subdue Chin from further struggling, kicking and shouting for help.

"There was no evidence that Joy was insane or suffering from any mental disorder which might have impaired his knowledge as to the nature of his act by tying a seatbelt around the deceased's neck which is indeed imminently dangerous as it would naturally suffocate the deceased leading to his death. This is clear and simple knowledge to any sane person.

"Because of that, the pathologist reported that the cause of death was due to asphyxia or as a consequence of compression of the neck.

There was no evidence in the defence to rebut this medical evidence," said Chew.

"I find no doubt that any person who is sane as the accused does not know that tying the neck of the deceased with the seatbelt is an act which is so imminently dangerous.

"Further, in the circumstances, when the deceased had been duly subdued by the act of the accused and another man (who was a prosecution witness), which rendered the deceased speechless and motionless, bleeding on his face, there was absolutely no reason for the accused to further tie a seatbelt around the deceased's neck with pressure which is in all probability must have caused death.

"For that simple reason, there was no possibility that the deceased could have even raised his voice or fought back at that stage," said Chew.

He also held that the Joy's act was wholly inexcusable and that according to Joy, when he tied the seatbelt around Chin's neck, he did not even look at Chin and that was seen as Joy not even caring whether Chin had suffocated and died.

"Why should the accused tie the seatbelt around the deceased's neck when he has alleged that he had no intention to kill and if it is true that the accused had no such intention to cause death as his initial plan was only to rob, he could have easily left the deceased at a certain area nearby when the deceased was still breathing after the assault.

Having considered all evidence, I hold the accused knew that by this act of tying the seatbelt around the deceased's neck and holding it for 20-30 minutes that it must in all probability have caused death, held Chew.

Meanwhile, assigned counsel Nelson Angang who represented Joy together with Chua Kuan E, told the court that Joy has no proper education and came from a broken family and started working since he was eight years old.

"How he appreciates things is different as he was brought up differently compared to those who have education and loved by family members.

Joy also regretted what he had done," said Angang.

However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Afzan Abd Kahar submitted that a life of a human being was lost and that public interest should be taken into account.

On April 9, 2013 three Filipinos Nikli Felix @ Mohd Shamsudin Faizal, 22, and Mazlan Anong, 22, were sentenced to between 15 years and 18 years by the High Court after they admitted to causing the death of Chin while robbing him, and became the prosecution's witnesses in the present case.