Authorities urged to consider lighter sentence for married couple allegedly caught stealing iron railings

The married couple were believed to have committed the offence as they were desperate to buy milk for their child.

MIRI: Some members of the public have expressed sympathy for the married couple arrested for allegedly cutting off and stealing iron railings near a drain at the Permy Phase 5 area here on Thursday, calling for authorities to consider their situation before passing sentence.

This was because the offence was committed out of love for their child, said a mother of one, Debra Laura.

“All parents will do anything to provide for their children. In this case, the married couple should be helped if it is proven that they do have a child, but if not, they should then be punished.

“It is understandable that it is hard to secure a job nowadays, especially when the husband is an ex-convict,” she said when contacted today.

Miri police chief ACP Lim Meng Seah said that the couple would face a prison term of 10 years and a fine under Section 380 of the Penal Code if they were convicted of the offence.

As for one Watson Menjang, it would be “too much” if the couple were to receive heavy punishment.

“Despite the need for them to be punished, I believe that the couple were doing it out of desperation.

“If we continue to help, do not just give them an easy way out, but instead provide them with a job opportunity,” he opined.

A father of three, Leonard Luhat, also concurred with Debra and Watson, saying that the couple should not be given heavy punishment.

“They should be counseled. Punishment is not the best way,” he said.

On Thursday, the married couple was arrested by the Pujut/Permy response unit of the Miri Residents’ Committee after the unit received a report from the public regarding the couple seen cutting off iron railings near a drain at the Permy Phase 5 area.

The couple was detained while they were pushing a trolley filled with piles of iron bars near an industrial area in Permy by the Miri City Council Serve Team.

It was learned that the offense was committed by the couple who were desperate to buy milk for their child, and the husband had just been released from serving a seven-month prison term for theft.