Housewife sentenced 10 years' jail for daughter's death

IPOH: A housewife was yesterday sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by the High Court here for abusing her five-year-old daughter to death, two years ago.

Judicial Commissioner Noorin Badaruddin handed down the sentence after mitigation by Choong Mee Chin, who was represented by counsel Chong Kok Yew, and deputy public prosecutor How May Ling.

Choong, 32, had pleaded guilty to two charges of abusing Ho Yan Hui in the living room of their house in Taman Wang, Menglembu at 9am on Aug 12 in 2013.

She was sentenced to six years' jail for manslaugther of her daughter and four years for abusing her.

Noorin however ordered both sentences to be run concurrently from the date she was arrested on Aug 16, 2013.

Apart from that, the court also imposed an additional condition on Choong, a three-year good behaviour bond of RM3,000 in one surety after she had served her sentence.

Noorin also ordered Choong to bring her other two children to the Welfare Department for observation every month during the period.

In her judgement, she said the court took into consideration the accused's mitigation and described the incident as a tragedy in a poor family.

"The matter should not have happened and the vagaries of life should not be an excuse why the tragedy took place as children deserve the appropriate love and care and not as an avenue to relieve anger," she said.

Noorin said hitting children to teach them a lesson was a norm in the community but if it involved serious injuries and death, the matter cannot be allowed to become rampant.

"Abuses which lead to death is a crime which cannot be viewed lightly as the factor of public interest is the priority and this crime is a serious one.

"That the child is naughty and difficult to control coupled with the stresses of life cannot be an excuse to be beaten to death as one needs to find alternatives to handle such a matter. Injuries sustained by the victim showed she died a slow and painful death," she said in an emotional tone.

Earlier, Choong had told the court she regretted her actions.

"I am appealing for another chance to start a new life. I want to look after and love my two other children and promise not to make the same mistakes in future," she said.

Meanwhile, How told the court to impose commensurating punishment as the post-mortem found there were more than 100 wounds on the unfortunate girl, especially the new wound on head and it showed the victim was frequently abused by the mother.

"The court also should take into consideration the frequency of child abuse cases in the media. In fact according to press reports recently, there will be legislative amendments to make caning of children an offence," she said. – Bernama