Monday, June 6, 2011

Child Stealer convicted

By Buth Reaksmey Kongkea

A WOMAN who stole a child from her parents was handed a two-year jail term yesterday, with one year of the sentence suspended.

Chhoun Lin, 33, was found guilty of taking a three-year old girl from her mother, Mean Sarann, of Tuol Sangke commune, Russei Keo district, Phnom Penh, last year.

She was arrested in November in Banteay Meanchey province’s Malai district, where she had been living with the toddler for around two months.

At an earlier hearing, Mean Sarann said that she had allowed her daughter to stay with Chhoun Lin for one night in Septmber, but she was never returned.

During the sentencing at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday, judge You Bunna said: “The court had found that Chhoun Lin was a guilty of stealing a three-year-old girl from her family to live with her without permission from the victim’s parents.

“It is considered that the suspect’s activity is illegal and is against Cambodian laws, therefore the court decided to sentence her to two years in jail.”

He added that one year of the sentence would be suspended.

Chhoun Lin declined to comment about her sentence yesterday. However, during her trial last month she denied all charges and said that she never intended to traffick or sell the girl.

“I decided to bring her to go with me in Banteay Meanchey province because I loved her very much. I used also to take care of her when she was born and I loved her like my daughter.

“I did not inform her parent because I thought that if I told them, they would not agree,” she said at the time.

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