Friday, February 9, 2007

Aussie jailed for switching price tags in Makro Cash & Carry

KUALA LUMPUR: Switching the price tags on five items to "save" RM34 earned an Australian journalist a 10-month jail sentence yesterday.

John Leslie Lefevre, 45, (picture) who is a freelance journalist earning US$100,000 (RM349,000) annually, was sentenced after pleading guilty to an amended charge of cheating.

Lefevre admitted to cheating cashier Amar Hatim Abu Hanifah at the Makro Cash & Carry hypermarket in Cheras here, by leading him to believe that the five items cost RM28.50 instead of RM62.50. The offence was committed at 8.45pm on Mar 29.

According to the facts of the case, house detective Abdul Gafur Jamat, who was on duty that night, noticed Lefevre behaving suspiciously.

Abdul Gafur trailed him and saw Lefevre changing the price tags on clothing before paying for them at the counter.

At this point, Abdul Gafur moved in and detained Lefevre and took him to the security office.

Upon checking the items, he found that Lefevre had changed the price tags on two pairs of shorts, a track bottom, T-shirt and five pairs of socks.

In mitigation, counsel V. Jayamurugan said Lefevre was single and a journalist who earned US$100,000 (RM350,000) a year.

"He is undergoing psychiatric treatment," Jayamurugan said.

He urged the court to impose sentence from the date of his arrest as he did not have the money to pay a fine.

Magistrate Azniza Mohd Ali sentenced him to 10 months jail from the date of his arrest on March 30 last year.

He has served his sentence and should be released today.

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