Sat, 09 Oct 1999

Teenager jailed for stealing remote control

JAKARTA (JP): A one-day hearing at the Central Jakarta District Court ended on Friday with first-time offender David Octavianus, 19, being convicted to four and a half months in jail for stealing a television remote control.

"The defendant caused losses to other people," presiding judge Bambang Sri Wulan told the hearing.

"The defendant enjoyed the proceeds raised from selling the remote control for Rp 35,000 (US$ 4.40).

"He is also no longer a schoolboy."

The judge said the sentence was passed upon hearing the testimony of Ita Latif, 40, the defendant's mother, that he was a "naughty" teenager.

"The defendant's mother indicated in her testimony that she would let her son go to jail," Bambang told reporters after the hearing.

Earlier, Ita told the judges that David was a difficult youth to deal with.

"That is right, Sir. He is a delinquent," Ita Latif said in the hearing.

Bambang said Ita's testimony had put him in a difficult position and left him with no choice but to pronounce a jail sentence for the defendant.

"The defendant is still young. He has also been polite and honest throughout the hearing," the judge said.

"But I have banged the gavel and I cannot cancel the verdict."

"Moreover, the defendant has said he accepts the sentence."

With eyes glistening with tears, the defendant, who appeared in brown sandals, black pants and a white shirt, told the court that he accepted the verdict.

The defendant was charged under Article 362 of the Criminal Code for stealing a Toshiba television remote control, which belonged to his friend Ridwan. The article carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail.

Prosecutor Gusnani requested the judges sentence the defendant to seven months in jail.

The defendant admitted in court that he had taken the remote control from Ridwan's house on Jl. Kramat in Central Jakarta on July 30 during his stay there.

"I ran out of money after being away from home for several days," he told the judges.

He said he sold the remote control to Ja'i Radi in Poncol market in Central Jakarta for Rp 35,000.

Two of the defendant's friends, Ponco and Leman, took David to the Central Jakarta Police station after he confessed to stealing the remote control.

Relatives of the defendant, including his two younger sisters and his grandmother, surrounded the defendant in an effort to comfort him after the hearing was over. (asa)