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Published: Thursday June 20, 2013 MYT 7:30:00 AM
Updated: Friday July 12, 2013 MYT 1:40:17 PM

Toddler suffocated after being pinned down, doctor tells court

BUTTERWORTH: The two-year old toddler, who was pinned down under eight people, died as a result of suffocation, a Sessions Court here heard on Thursday.

Penang Hospital Forensic Department director Datuk Dr Zahari Noorsaid a thorough inspection on Chua Wan Xuen's cadaver showed that there were traces of blood in her respiratory system.

He said the presence of blood in the respiratory system indicated that she was still breathing when she was pinned down.

He said the child could have either been pressed down to the floor or pinned down by an adult, as there were injuries to the right side of her face.

Dr Zahari said there were also injuries on Wan Xuen's hands, legs, body, neck and lips.

He was testifying in the case of a family charged with negligently causing the death of Chua Wan Xuen, aged two years and nine months, during an exorcism ritual.

In the dock were parents Chua Seng Ban and his wife Lim She Lee, both 35, who had pleaded not guilty - along with five other relatives - to causing the death of their daughter Wan Xuen, through a rash or negligent act.

The other five are the child's uncle Chua Seng Hoo, 29, aunt Ah Luan, 40, grandmother Ong Soh Guat, 67, cousin Loke Xim Lin, 21, and a 16-year-old boy.

They are charged with committing the offence at a house in Bukit Tengah near Bukit Mertajam, between 7.50pm and 10.52pm on Aug 5, last year.

The eighth person involved was their Indonesian maid who was made a prosecution witness and testified against the family last year. Dr Zahari said he carried out the post-mortem at the Seberang Jaya Hospital the next day, on Aug 6.

He said he also went back to the crime scene later, after the case's investigating officer provided him with more details, which further assisted him in his forensic analysis of the case.

Apart from the forensic report, Dr Zahari also furnished the court with photographs of the toddler's body, which showed the physical injuries that she had sustained.

Deputy public prosecutor Suhaimi Ibrahim prosecuted, while C.P. Ang represented the accused.

Judge Musyiri Peet fixed July 17 to continue the hearing.

Related Stories:
Aunt of toddler who died during exorcism ritual found fit for trial
Seven charged over death of toddler in exorcism ritual
Exorcism leaves toddler dead 

Tags / Keywords: Toddler, court, death

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