Couple charged with child abuse


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 15 Feb 2020

BUTTERWORTH: A couple have been charged in a Sessions Court here with abusing their 11-year-old daughter, who was found with bruises on her face, swollen eyes and scars on her body.

The couple, a 38-year-old housewife and her 36-year-old mechanic husband, were charged separately under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001, which carries a maximum fine of RM20,000, a jail term of up to 10 years or both upon conviction.

The 38-year-old accused, who is the girl’s stepmother, is alleged to have physically abused and caused mental trauma to the girl.

She pleaded not guilty when the charge was read out to her in Tamil before Sessions judge Norhayati Mohamad Yunus.

Meanwhile, the 36-year-old accused, who is the father of the girl, is alleged to have neglected, abandoned and exposed his child to the abuse.

He, too, pleaded not guilty when the charge was read out to him in Malay.

They allegedly committed the offences between middle of last year and February this year.

In mitigation, the 38-year-old accused pleaded for leniency, saying she had to take care of five other children, one of whom she is still breastfeeding.

Deputy public prosecutor J.G. Kaameni urged the court to not offer bail, citing the severity of the case.

Norhayati granted bail at RM15,000 in one surety for each accused and set March 17 for mention pending the submission of the child’s medical reports.

Both accused were unrepresented.

On Feb 9, police, acting on a tip-off, found the girl with serious injuries on her face and she was struggling to open her bruised eyes.

Items such as a helmet, wooden stick and clothes hanger were believed to have been used in the abuse.

The girl was brought to the Welfare Department after undergoing treatment at the Seberang Jaya Hospital.

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