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Jobless man sentenced to eight years’ jail for abusing two-year-old

PUTRAJAYA: An unemployed man was sentenced to eight years’ jail by the Appeals Court here for abusing a two-year-old boy whose body was found hidden in an ice-filled fish barrel, five years ago.

A three-member bench led by Justice Datuk Seri Kamaludin Md Said, passed the sentence on Mohd Affandi Fauzi Ramlee, 39, after he pleaded guilty to the alternative charge. The judge ordered the man to serve the sentence from yesterday.

The man initially faced a charge of murdering the child under Section 302 of the Penal Code but was acquitted and discharged by the Alor Setar High Court in Kedah.

The prosecution, however, filed an appeal yesterday to prosecute the man on an alternative charge of abusing the child under Section Section 31 (1) (a) of the Child Act 2001, which carries a maximum jail of 10 years of fine of up to RM20,000, upon conviction.

The man committed the offence in a house at Paya Nahu Flat, Sungai Petani, Kedah, between Oct 24 and Nov 24, 2016.

According to the facts of the case, the child, with his mother and sister, had been living with the man before the latter started being abusive by punching and stomping on the child’s head and body to the extent of causing a broken rib.

The mother claimed that in an incident on Oct 27, 2016, the boy fell unconscious after being pushed by the man. She was prohibited from taking the child to a hospital for immediate treatment for fear of being investigated.

Believing that the child had died, the man wrapped the body with a comforter and hid it in an ice-filled fish barrel.

However, the crime was discovered after the woman sought a neighbour’s help to report to the police.

Judge Kamaludin said yesterday that even though the accused had pleaded guilty to the alternative charge, the court had to take public interests into consideration in the sentencing.

“What the accused did to the victim was too brutal. We cannot imagine the physical pain he brought to the child,” said the judge who presided with Justices Datuk Abu Bakar Jais and Datuk Hashim Hamzah.

In mitigation, lawyer Kee Wei Lon asked for a lighter penalty, saying that the fact that his client, even after being freed of a murder charge, still came to the court and pleaded guilty to the alternative charge proved that he truly regretted his act and was willing to take full responsibility for it.

Deputy public prosecutor Samihah Rhazali pressed for a maximum of 10 years’ jail. — Bernama

The lawyer said his client had also served five years in jail for causing grievous injury to the victim’s four-year-old sister and was released from prison on April 15 last year.

Deputy public prosecutor Samihah Rhazali, however, pressed for a maximum of 10 years’ jail, saying that it was a brutal and serious offence one could commit against a child.

“The five-year jail sentence he served was for a different case of causing hurt to the victim’s sister. It has nothing to do with this child’s case,” she said.– BERNAMA

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