KUALA LUMPUR - Three youths were whipped in open court as punishment for committing armed robbery.
The offenders, all wearing jeans, managed to maintain their composure during the whipping.
However, some of their parents watching from the public gallery were seen sobbing.
The youths were personal trainer Firman Shah Marzuki, 20, as well as mechanics Mohammad Talip Abd Kadir, 19, and Hazmirul Zulkafli, 18, who were juveniles when they committed the crime.
It was learnt that while it is an uncommon punishment, there had been other cases where youthful offenders were whipped in the Ampang court.
Medical personnel were also on standby during the whipping, though the delinquents appeared more embarrassed than in pain.
"I hope, for your sakes, that you do not return to a life of crime," said Ampang Sessions Judge Manira Mohd Nor, adding that the parents needed to keep a closer eye on their children.
She had sentenced the three to two strokes of the rotan each, plus a RM5,000 bond of good behaviour each, with one surety.
Manira had decided to spare them jail time, ruling that the provision under Section 293 of the Criminal Procedure Code for youthful offenders would give them a better chance to be rehabilitated.
Section 293 (1) gives the court discretion to bound over an offender who has been convicted, instead of sentencing them to prison. The section also allows the court to punish the offender with up to 10 strokes of a light cane or rattan within the court premises.
Firman, Mohammad Talip, Hazmirul and dispatch boy Mohd Ramdan Mohd Ali, 23, had pleaded guilty on Sept 2 to using a knife to rob Yeo Chai Nee, 30, of his car, a camera, a handphone and RM600 cash.
The offence occurred on Jalan AG 1/4 Astana, here at 4.30am on May 17, last year.
Mohd Ramdan, however, was not as lucky as his accomplices, as Manira sentenced him to five years prison and four strokes of the rotan, as he was not a juvenile at the time of the offence.
DPP Nadiah Malek Fauzie acted for the prosecution, while lawyers Mohd Riza Zakaria and Vasu Dev represented the accused.