Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bag snatcher’s 15-year prison sentence upheld

Bag snatcher’s 15-year prison sentence upheld

Bag snatcher’s 15-year prison sentence upheld

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the verdict of a lower court which had sentenced a man to 15 years in prison for snatching a bag and causing the death of a husband and wife in 2017 in Phnom Penh.

The verdict came after the Supreme Court on July 10 heard the appeal of Phan Morn, 25, who had snatched the bag in Meanchey district’s Stung Meanchey commune on June 28, 2017.

Presiding Judge Kim Sathavy read the verdict in the absence of the convict and his defence lawyer on Wednesday.

After listening to arguments from Morn’s defence lawyer and the court prosecutor at the July 10 hearing, the Supreme Court decided that the lower court’s sentence of 15 years imprisonment was lawful.

“So the Supreme Court has decided to uphold the 15-year prison sentence and orders that [Morn] is kept detained,” she said.

The court report identified the victims as Mean Pisei, 28, and his wife Phan Chanvatey, 27.

On the night of June 28, 2017, the couple and their two-year-old son were riding a motorbike in Phnom Penh.

When they came to the area near Phum Russey Primary School, two men followed them on another motorbike and snatched Chanvatey’s bag – which contained no money.

The husband, a motorbike taxi driver, and his two passengers chased after the offenders but as they approached Sambour Meas pagoda in Dangkor district, a car travelling in the same direction hit their motorbike’s handlebar causing them to crash.

Chanvatey’s head hit the road, fracturing her skull and killing her instantly.

Pisei was seriously injured and was sent to a hospital, but he passed away in an ambulance on the way there.

Their three-year-old son suffered only mild injuries because Chanvatey had protected him from the fall.

The bag snatchers’ motorbike had also crashed, meanwhile, and a local villager apprehended Morn – but the other offender fled the scene.

Morn was sentenced to 15 years in prison by Phnom Penh Municipal Court on December 7, 2017, and the victims’ families did not file a civil lawsuit claiming compensation.

Dissatisfied with court’s verdict, Morn filed a complaint to the Appeal Court, which on September 11, 2018, upheld the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s decision.