The Appeal Court yesterday heard the appeal of two men who were convicted and sentenced to six years each in jail in 2017 over theft in Battambang province’s Kamrieng district in 2016.
Presiding Judge Chan Marina identified them as Bun Sroh, 25, a taxi driver from Siem Reap province’s Svay Dangkum district, and Pheap Vanny, 27, a taxi driver’s assistant from Kampong Cham province’s Kampong Siem district.
Judge Marina noted that about 7.30pm on November 11, 2016, the two men drove a family of five in their car.
The passengers were migrant workers who worked in Thailand and had just returned from Lem market in Battambang province’s Kamrieng district and headed toward Siem Reap province.
Judge Marina said Mr Sroh was driving, while Mr Vanny sat next to him and the passengers sat in the back.
She added that at about 9.30pm, Mr Sroh drove the car to a quiet place in Kamprong village, which was about 50 kilometres from Lem market. After he parked the car, Mr Sroh and Mr Vanny walked out and smoked drugs. After smoking, they stole the passengers’ properties.
“During the robbery, Mr Sroh took a sword and pointed it at the victims and ordered them to give him all their money and valuable items,” Judge Marina said. “While Mr Sroh was pointing the sword at the victims and threatened to kill them, Mr Vanny collected their properties.”
“After collecting the victims’ properties, they kicked the victims out of their car and drove off,” she added.
Judge Marina said the men stole about $32 and three luxury phones from the victims.
She added that the victims reported the crime to Ta Krey commune police and filed a complaint against the men the next morning.
Judge Marina said the men were arrested by police on November 25, 2016 in Kamrieng district, adding that that police seized a Camry car and two phones from them.
Judge Marina noted that Battambang Provincial Court on July 26, 2017 convicted both men and sentenced them to six years each in jail for theft with aggravating circumstances.
She said they both appealed the judgement to the Appeal Court.
During yesterday’s hearing, Mr Sroh admitted committing the offence. He requested for the Appeal Court to reduce his sentence to a minimum.
Mr Sroh told the court that on the night of the incident, he asked the victims to pay for his services but they denied to pay.
He said he was angry and took a sword and pointed it at them in order to force them to pay him.
“I took the sword and pointed it at them because they would not pay for the ride fees,” Mr Sroh said. “But I did not stab them or injure them.”
“I kicked them out of my car because they did not have enough money to pay me for the service,” he said. “I have now learned from my mistake. I promise will not make the same mistake again in the future.”
“I would like to ask the court to reduce my sentence so that I will be able to return to my family,” Mr Sroh added.
Meanwhile, Mr Vanny denied committing the offence, saying that when Mr Sroh got into an argument with the victims over the payment, he was standing outside of the car.
“I am innocent,” Mr Vanny said. “I ask the court to please overturn the conviction and release me.”
A verdict is due on August 27.