A 28-year-old convicted rapist-cum-murderer asked the Appeal Court on Wednesday to reduce his life sentence meted out by the provincial court.
Chim Teuk is accused of committing the crime in Balang village, Takong commune, in Malai district, Banteay Meanchey province in 2017.
Defence lawyer Phar Sokha told Judge In Vanvibol that Teuk had confessed to the crime.
Teuk said on July 22, 2017, at 8:00am, his victim who was a 17-year-old girl, was riding her motorbike near a farm when he asked her where she was going.
The victim replied rudely that it was none of his business where she wanted to go, after which Teuk said he got angry and yanked her off her motorbike. When she fell to the ground, he started to rip off her clothes.
Teuk told Judge Vanvibol that as they struggled, his victim lost her strength, after which he molested and raped her.
He said he realised there were people driving a tractor at the nearby farm and he feared his victim would scream for help so he strangled her with his bare hands and pushed her head into the mud at a canal until she died.
Once he realised she was dead, he left her at the scene and rode her motorbike as he fled to O’Chrou district, in Sisophon town, where police arrested him two days later on July 24.
Teuk told Judge Vanvibol that he was unschooled but knew that murder is a crime. He said he had no intention of killing the victim and the crime was not premeditated. But, he was angry with her for being rude to him.
Seeking mercy from the court to lower his sentence, Teuk said he had a wife and son to support.
According to the court’s file, the verdict was announced by the provincial court on July 10, 2018, when Teuk was sentenced to life in prison for murder under Article 205 of Criminal Code. The provincial court also ordered him to pay 15 million riel in compensation to the victim’s mother.
“I had no intention to kill her. I was just angry with her for insulting me. I realised my mistake when I was in prison, so I ask the court to reduce my sentence,” Teuk said.
However, prosecutor Tan Senarong said it is a fact that the accused had killed the victim and that it was a cruel act to commit. Hence, considering the facts of the case, the provincial court decided to punish the accused to life in prison in accordance with the law.
Senarong said: “He is asking the court to reduce his sentence because he realised his guilt while in prison. But once he spends 10 years in jail, his sentence may be reduced to 30 years jail in line with the law.
“So, the trial chamber of the appeal court can consider reducing his sentence to 30 years in prison at a later stage,” Senarong said.
Defending his client’s appeal, Sokha said Teuk had already accepted fault and feels remorse for the crime he had committed.
“He is still a young man with a long life ahead of him. Please reduces his sentence,” Sokha appealed.
Judge Vanvibol said the court will announce its decision on February 24.