Painful lesson for hurting disabled


BALIK PULAU: A 39-year-old sales promoter will spend the next 10 years in jail after pleading guilty to causing serious injury to a man with Down Syndrome.

Oo Saw Kee, who showed no emotion when the sentence was read by Sessions Court judge Ahzal Fariz Ahmad Khairuddin, was also fined RM6,000, in default 12 months’ jail.

In meting out the sentence, Ahzal Fariz said Oo’s action against a disabled person was “serious, cruel and inhumane.”

“There was no provocation on the part of the victim in this incident.

“The court shares the same sentiments as the public.

“In this case, the court needs to take into consideration the public interest rather than the personal interest of the accused.

“The sentence serves not only as a lesson to the accused, but also to society out there, to not repeat similar action against disabled individuals,” he said at the Balik Pulau court yesterday.

Earlier, Oo appeared calm when she pleaded guilty to the charge of splashing A. Solairaj, 33, with hot water from a container at 9.24am in a lift at an apartment in Bayan Lepas on April 19.

The charge, framed under Section 326 of the Penal Code for causing serious injury by using a weapon, provides imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine, or whipping, if found guilty.

Solairaj is still being treated at Hospital Penang after sustaining 6% to 8% burns on his right shoulder, back and neck.

State prosecution director Mohd Noordin Ismail, who prosecuted the case, pressed for a heavier sentence, saying the disabled community, too, have rights and cannot be treated this way.

“What the victim suffered is permanent; a heavy punishment is needed.

“The footage of this incident went viral and it is of public interest.

“He did not do anything and was just standing in the lift when it happened.

“It is a serious crime and should amount to at least 10 years in prison,” he said.

Mohd Noordin said the victim and accused have been living in the same apartment building for years.

He also read out a witness impact statement from Solairaj’s sister, A. Krishna, 23, who said she is currently caring for her brother at Hospital Penang.

“My brother is disabled, and mentally he is a bit different from normal persons.

“The injuries he sustained will be there for the rest of his life.

“Prior to the incident, he was independent and could do things on his own. But now he gets emotional easily and keeps asking what he had done wrong.

“Since his admission at the hospital, I have to drive back and forth to care for him.

“We are not well-off and the hospital is far, but I have to do this for my brother,” her statement read.

Lawyer Edric Loo, who represented Oo pro bono, said the sales promoter was living alone with a monthly income of RM1,500.

“She is remorseful for her act and this is the first time she has committed an offence,” he said.

Last Friday, Solairaj had stepped into the lift on the 16th floor of his apartment building in Bayan Lepas with Oo, who was also seen inside the elevator.

Suddenly, Oo took out a flask from her bag and proceeded to splash him with hot water.

A 20-second video of the incident went viral on social media, with members of the public condemning the woman’s actions.

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Down Syndrome , jail , guilty

   

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