GEORGE TOWN - An odd-job worker has been sentenced to five years' jail for raping a 13-year-old girl who subsequently became pregnant and bore him a child.
Mohd Hazri Abdul Ghafor, 28, pleaded guilty to raping the girl, now 18, at a unit of the Kampung Melayu Flats in Air Itam here between March and May 2009.
The offence carries a jail term of up to 20 years and possible whipping upon conviction.
In mitigation before Sessions Court judge Zulhazmi Abdullah, Hazri's counsel Rosli Ismail said his client had no previous conviction, adding that it was his first offence and he had since repented.
"His guilty plea has also saved the court time and cost. The most important thing was that his guilty plea prevented the victim from giving a statement in court, which would have embarrassed her and her family.
"It is clear from the facts of the case that the accused and the victim were friends and the accused's actions were consented by the victim," he said.
Rosli also said there was no physical violence involved, and that Hazri had expressed his willingness to take responsibility for the victim and their child, who is now four years old.
DPP S. Selvaranjini urged the court to mete out a deterrent sentence as a lesson to Hazri and the public, to reflect the seriousness of the offence.
Earlier, Selvaranjini tendered the paternity test result confirming a match between the child's DNA and that of Hazri, as well as the child's birth certificate.