KUALA PILAH: A married couple has been sentenced to two years in jail by the Sessions Court here after pleading guilty to physically abusing a six-year-old boy.
Muhammad Aizat Zolkepli, 27, and Siti Norshakina Mohd Noor, 31, did not contest the charge after it was read to them before judge Norma Ismail on Thursday (Sept 21).
Muhammad Aizat, who works at a sawmill in Bahau, is the boy's father, while Siti Norshakina is the boy’s stepmother.
They were charged with committing the offence between March and Sept 12 at their home at Rumah Rakyat Jambu Lapan in Bahau.
The charge under Section 31 (1)(a) of the Child Act 2001, read together with Section 34 of the Penal Code, carries a fine of up to RM50,000 or jail up to 20 years or both upon conviction.
Judge Norma also ordered the duo to be bound over for two years on a good behaviour bond of RM2,000 with one surety, and to serve 80 hours of community service each.
The duo, who were unrepresented, told the court they were remorseful for what they did and begged for a light sentence.
Muhammad Aizat also admitted he had failed to be a good father and husband, while his wife said their young children needed her.
The couple have three other children, and none have been harmed.
Deputy public prosecutor Peh Fong Xi urged the court to impose a deterrent sentence.
"This is a serious offence, and the court needs to mete out a heavy punishment to send the message to others.
"The victim, who is only six years old, suffered injuries all over his body," he said.
She added that the victim, who could not protect himself, had no choice but to run away from home because of the constant abuse.
Police detained the couple on Sept 12 and remanded them for seven days.
They learned about the case after receiving a call from the public.
Police later found the boy and took him to Hospital Jempol for treatment.
A medical examination showed that he had many scars and old injuries, and a preliminary probe revealed that the abuse began in March.