JOHOR BAHRU: A single mother and her female friend were today sentenced to seven year’s jail each for ill-treating and neglecting her seven-year-old son and causing him to suffer injuries.
Nurul Asyiqin Zahid, 27, and her housemate Awiin Chua, 30, had pleaded guilty to two charges of child abuse on Aug 16.
Sessions court judge VM Mabel Sheela sentenced them to seven years’ jail on each charge and ordered them to serve the sentences concurrently from the date of their arrest on Aug 12.
In her decision, the judge said such an incident should not have occurred, as the bond between a mother and her child is special.
“If you (the victim’s mother) ask your child to follow you, he will definitely do it even if it means enduring pain.
“The court could not imagine the condition the victim would be in if this situation had continued, and we’re fortunate that the public intervened. Otherwise, the victim could have died,” she said.
Deputy public prosecutor Nur Diyana Zubir asked for a deterrent sentence, saying the victim had suffered more than 20 physical injuries and had been frequently abused.
“In this case, we must commend the victim’s neighbours for their vigilance, which ultimately saved the victim. It is a case of public interest which has also attracted the attention of the consort of the Johor Crown Prince, Che’ Puan Besar Khaleeda Bustamam,” she said.
In mitigation, lawyer Nur Hazneena Zureen Jaesleen Hanafiah, representing the two accused, appealed for a lighter sentence, considering that it was their first offence and they deeply regretted their actions.
The two women committed the offences in a house on Jalan Wau Kikik 7, Bandar Layang Kasa, Pasir Gudang, between July 1 and Aug 9 this year.
They were charged under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001, read together with Section 34 of the Penal Code, which provides for a maximum fine of RM50,000 or imprisonment of not more than 20 years, or both, on conviction.