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Court tries minor over beer theft

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried a 12-year-old boy accused of breaking into a beverage shop and stealing a phone and three cases of beers.

Judge Duch Soksarin identified the accused as a rubbish collector from Chbar Ampov district, and the victim as Hong Sok Heang, the owner of the beverage shop from the same district.

He said the accused was arrested on October 13, 2018 and was charged with theft with aggravating circumstances. Judge Soksarin said the boy could be sentenced eight years in prison if convicted.

He said on the day in question at about 12:30pm, the accused broke into the victim’s shop, took the phone and three cases of beer as the victim was sleeping.

“While he was looting the victim’s shop, the accused had his cart parked nearby,” Judge Soksarin said. “He took the cases one by one.”

“The victim woke up and saw the accused carrying the last case of beer, and she soon called police,” he added. “The accused was then arrested and the evidence was confiscated by police.”

Judge Soksarin noted that police confiscated a Nokia phone and the three cases of beer and handed the goods back to the victim.

During yesterday’s hearing, the accused admitted to the offence and begged the court not to sentence him to prison.

“The reason why I stole the victim’s property was because I didn’t have enough money to buy drugs,” he said. “I wanted to take the goods, sell them and use the money to buy drugs.”

“I regret this mistake. I promise I will not do it again,” he added. “I would like to ask the court to reduce my sentence and release me

from jail.”

Deputy court prosecutor Kong Samsareth said the charge should be upheld, but the sentence should be reduced due to the age of the accused.

“Based on actual evidence and his confession, I would like to suggest to the Judges’ Council to reduce his sentence to a minimal one due to the accused being a minor,” Mr Samsareth said.

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