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Man appeals for reduced sentence over theft conviction

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
The accused was sentenced to 15 years in jail over a robbery that led to the deaths of two people. KT/Pann Rachana

The Supreme Court yesterday heard the appeal of a man who was convicted by the lower courts and sentenced to 15 years in jail in 2017 for bag snatching that led to the deaths of two people.

Presiding Judge Kem Sothavy identified the accused as 27-year-old Phan Morn from Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district.

Judge Sothavy identified the victims as Mean Pisey, 28 and his wife Than Chanvotey, 27, who were from Chamkar Mon district’s Boeng Tompon commune.

Mr Morn was charged with theft with aggravating circumstances following his arrest on June 26, 2017.

Judge Sothavy noted that at about 8pm on June 26, 2017, the victims, along with their two-year-old daughter, were on a motorbike and driving down a road in Russey village, Stung Meanchey I commune.

They were heading home after they had gone shopping in the city.

Ms Chanvotey, who sat in the back, was carrying a bag which contained her phone and some cash.

“While the victims were driving down on the motorbike, the accused, who was also on a motorbike, chased after the victims, and from behind, he snatched Ms Chanvotey’s bag,” Judge Sothavy said. “Ms Chanvotey fell off the bike, hit her head and died on the spot.”

“Mr Pisey was still on the motorbike before it crashed into a truck, which was driving in the opposite direction, also leading to his immediate death. Their daughter was seriously injured but was rescued by people on the road,” he added, noting that the daughter survived the incident.

Judge Sothavy said police arrested Mr Morn at about 9pm later that day in Chamkar Mon district and seized a motorbike and the victim’s bag from him.

On December 7, 2017, Phnom Penh Municipal Court convicted and sentenced him to 15 years in jail, which he later appealed to the Appeal Court.

During yesterday’s trial, Mr Morn admitted committing the offence, saying that he stole the bag because he needed money to buy drugs. However, he said he did not have any intention of killing the victims.

“I would like to confess that I did steal the bag. But I did not intend for them to die,” he said. “It was a mistake and I regret it. I promise I will not commit the same mistake again.”

“I would like to request that the court reduce my sentence to seven years so that I will be able to start a new life as a better person,” he added.

A verdict is due July 17.

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