A single mother who was sentenced to 30 days in jail for breaking the movement control order (MCO) had her sentence commuted to a RM1,000 fine after the High Court allowed her revision application.
In her judgment, Judicial Commissioner Norsharidah Awang said she had considered that B Lisa Christina was a single mother and had already served eight days in jail since her sentencing.
“I hope this teaches you a lesson. You have to follow the MCO. If you do it again, I would not hesitate to hand a heavier punishment. I hereby set aside the Magistrate’s Court’s decision and replace it with a RM1,000 fine,” she said on Wednesday (April 29).
The court also ordered the 30-year-old marketing executive to serve two weeks in jail if she fails to pay the fine.
On April 21, the Petaling Jaya Magistrate’s Court sentenced Lisa to 30 days’ jail at Kajang Prison.
She had pleaded guilty to a charge under Section 6 (1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures Within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020 which carries a maximum fine of RM1,000 or six months imprisonment or both, if convicted.
She committed the offence at a staircase area near a playground at Jalan SM 1, Taman Subang Mas in Subang Jaya at 4.45pm on April 12.
Earlier, lawyer Datuk Rajpal Singh, who represented Lisa, submitted that the sentence by the lower court was “manifestly excessive”.
“In a case like this, a fine should have been given priority. The magistrate failed to consider that the accused is a first-time offender. She is not a hardcore criminal,” he said.
“Public interest would best be served if Lisa is out of prison as she has to care for her son following the death of her husband in 2016,” he added.
According to Rajpal, Lisa, who lived in a fifth-floor apartment unit, had gone down to buy a packet drink at a nearby shop. On her way back to her house, three Indonesians who were loitering at the staircase, started chatting with her.
“They asked her what she was doing, and she said she had gone to buy drinks from the shop as it was Easter Day. That was when she was caught,” Rajpal added.
Rajpal drew a comparison with two other cases charged and sentenced by the same court on the same day, where the accused in both cases were fined RM1,000 each for violating the MCO.
“Why is there an inconsistency?” he said.
In her reply, DPP Wan Shahida Wan Omar said the lower court had considered all the mitigating factors before passing the sentence.
“The sentence was fair as it took the public interest into consideration. I ask for the court to maintain the sentence,” she said.
In the prosecution’s written submission, it was said that the Indonesians men who were caught together with Lisa were also charged and sentenced to 30 days in jail each.
Only Lisa filed for a revision.
Lisa, who has a six-year-old son, paid the fine before she was sent in a taxi to be with her mother in Seremban.