Couple discharged by Sessions Court in child abuse case

JOHOR BARU: A married couple has been given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the Sessions Court here over a charge of abusing their four-year-old son to the extent of causing him physical injury.

The boy’s stepfather, S. Nagendran, and his mother, A. Sangeetha, both 23, were accused of committing the offence at Skudai Villa Apartment, Jalan Aman, Taman Skudai Baru, here at 12.30am on Friday (April 28).

Sessions Court Judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Arifin Ismail made the decision after finding duplicity in the charge that was given to the accused under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2011, here, on Wednesday (June 7).

The charge was read together with Section 34 of the Penal Code, which provides for a fine not exceeding RM50,000 or a maximum jail term of 20 years, or both, if convicted.

According to the charge sheet, to achieve a common end, the duo acted negligently towards the child in their care, which might have caused physical injury to him.

The case was prosecuted by deputy public prosecutor Umar Faiz Abdul Kohar and Noor Idayu Salim, while the accused was represented by Tuan Nur Izza Natasha Tuan Rosidi.

Ahmad Kamal then said that the deputy public prosecutor had included two distinct offences in one charge, which is duplicity.

The court then ordered the accused to be given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal.

Earlier, on May 3, both of the accused pleaded guilty to the charge under the same Section.

Ahmad Kamal had set June 7 to hear the facts of the case before passing sentence.

It was reported that a four-year-old boy died on Saturday (April 29) after he was believed to have been physically abused by his mother and stepfather.

Iskandar Puteri OCPD Asst Comm Rahmat Ariffin was quoted as saying that the child was rushed to Hospital Sultanah Aminah but was pronounced dead on arrival at the Emergency Department at 8.20am.

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