PUTRAJAYA, Aug 8 (Bernama) -- National Tenpin bowling ace Noor Afizal Azizan escaped custodial sentence as the Appeals Court here today allowed his appeal to restore the decision of a Sessions Court which bound him over for good behaviour for five years, in a sum of RM25,000 for committing statutory rape.
A three-member panel led by Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Raus Md Sharif unanimously set aside the five-year jail term imposed on Noor Afizal by the Melaka High Court in allowing the prosecution's appeal for an enhanced sentence.
Raus, in his decision, agreed with counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik that public interest would not be served if Noor Afizal was sent to jail as he had a bright future.
Court of Appeal judges Datuk K. N. Segara and Datuk Azhar Ma'ah were the other two judges presiding on the panel.
On July 5, last year, the Melaka Sessions Court bound over Noor Afizal, 21, for good behaviour on a bond of RM25,000 for five years in one surety after he pleaded guilty to committing the offence on a 13-year-old girl at a hotel in Ayer Keroh, Melaka between 12.30am and 5am on June 5, 2009.
The Sessions Court, in binding him over, considered several factors, including that there was consensual sexual relationship between him and the girl.
He was given a five-year jail sentence by the Melaka High Court on Sept 20, last year, which allowed the appeal brought by the prosecution which was dissatisfied with the Sessions Court's decision.
Noor Afizal was allowed bail of RM6,000 in one surety, pending his appeal to the Court of Appeal.
He represented Negeri Sembilan between 2004-2010 and at the same time, represented Malaysia in the National Youth Category for five years (2004-2008).
He also bowled in the Thailand International Open championship in April, this year, and is expected to represent Kedah in several upcoming tournaments such as the KL International Open Championship 2012.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Nadia Hanim Mohd Tajuddin appeared for the prosecution.