Man Who Was Charged In 2015 Low Yat Plaza Theft Case Has Been Acquitted

In 2016, Shahrul Anuar Abdul Aziz was sentenced by the magistrate's court after he was found guilty for stealing a phone.

The young man who was caught stealing from a store in Low Yat Plaza on 11 July 2015 was acquitted yesterday, 1 March

Shahrul Anuar Abdul Aziz (second from right) with his father and lawyers.

Image via Free Malaysia Today

According to media reports, 25-year-old Shahrul Anuar Abdul Aziz was freed of a theft charge of stealing a phone in Low Yat Plaza in 2015 by the Court of Appeal.

The accused's appeal against the sentence imposed on him by the Magistrate's Court in 2016, in which he was sentenced to four months' imprisonment and RM1,000 fine, was allowed by the three-member panel comprising of Datuk Wira Mohtarudin Baki, Datuk Yaacob Md Sam and Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil.

The court also dismissed the prosecution's appeal to increase Shahrul's sentence.

"Justice Mohtarudin chairing the panel said it was the court's view that Shahrul Anuar's appeal had merits as the court (Court of Appeal) found that the magistrate had committed serious misdirection of law that tantamount to a miscarriage of justice," Bernama wrote in a report.

Shahrul Anuar was reportedly acquitted of the offence on technical grounds

Sinar Harian reported Mohtarudin as saying that the magistrate had established a prima facie case in his notes of evidence but in his grounds of judgment, had stated the accused was guilty of the offence and he must enter his defence.

According to Mohtarudin, the magistrate called on a defence when the accused needed only to rebut the prosecution's case to create a reasonable doubt.

Nevertheless, he reportedly said that the court believed and has reason to believe that Shahrul Anuar, committed the act.

"If you have done it, you should repent, if you did not, it's a test from God (Kalau awak buat taubat, kalau tak buat ini dugaan Allah)," Mohtarudin told Shahrul Anuar, who is now a student at a tahfiz centre in Bukit Beruntung, Rawang, as reported by Bernama.

It was learned that Mohtarudin earlier remarked that the court had the power to order a retrial during the proceedings.

Shahrul Anuar's case came under the spotlight after the 11 July 2015 theft case created a ruckus, which eventually sparked a riot over the weekend

Image via NST

It all started when Shahrul Anuar, who was unemployed, went to Low Yat Plaza with a friend.

Shahrul Anuar allegedly took a smartphone from a store without paying, but soon he and his alleged accomplice were apprehended by a group of employees in the plaza. They were then handed over to the plaza's security personnel.

A group of seven men, believed to have learned about the shoplifting incident, made their way to the plaza that same night to take revenge. They assaulted workers who were involved in the earlier incident, causing an estimated RM70,000 in damage. 

The brawl between the group of men and the employees was said to have sparked a riot over the weekend that saw riot police vehicles deployed to the scene as the mob gathering turned violent. 

Here's a recap on the chronology of cases related to Shahrul Anuar:

14 July 2015: Shahrul Anuar was charged under Section 380 of the Penal Code for stealing a Lenovo S860 phone worth RM800 from Techasia Boutique, Low Yat Plaza during the 11 July incident.

12 February 2016:
He was fined RM2,000 by the magistrate’s court in a separate case, after pleading guilty to drug abuse, an offence he committed on 12 July 2015 in the toilet of Narcotics Criminal Investigation Division office, Dang Wangi Police Headquarters.

24 May 2016: Shahrul Anuar was sentenced to four months jail and fined RM1,000 after he was found guilty by the magistrate’s court for stealing a phone.

24 February 2016: Shahrul Anuar and another man were charged with using a parang to cause injury to a mechanic, Hamizan Hamzah,  on 20 February.

2 December 2016: Shahrul Anuar was given a discharge for assault after Hamizan Hamzah decided not to pursue the case.

5 April 2017: Shahrul Anuar's appeal against conviction, and four months jail and RM1,000 fine sentence were dismissed by the High Court. However, the court amended the charge from Section 380 of the Penal Code, which is for theft in a building to Section 379, for theft.

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