KUALA TERENGGANU: A married couple was sentenced to death by hanging after they were found guilty of murdering their daughter, five years ago.
Judge Datuk Zainal Azman Abd Aziz meted out the sentence on Anuar Yusof, 55 and his wife, Murni Ahmad, 40, who was the stepmother to the victim, Siti Hajar, 22, after finding that the defence had failed to raise reasonable doubt against the prosecution’s case.
In his judgment, Zainal Azman said based on the victim’s physical condition, it clearly showed that she had been left without sufficient food for too long, her health was neglected and she was abused till she only weighed around 18 kilogrammes.
He said the facts (neglect and abuse) had been informed by the surgeons during their testimony and were not denied by both the accused.
“It was impossible that their actions were committed during a span of a few days, instead the victim probably suffered for months. Both the accused would surely have known of the pain endured by the victim, but did not take any action nor provide adequate treatment until she died,” he said.
Apart from the couple, two of their children, Siti Sarah Anuar, 26, and her 19-year-old brother (who was 14 years old during the incident) also faced the same charge, but the court acquitted and discharged them from the case after they were found not guilty.
Zainal Azman said Siti Sarah and her brother were also under the couple’s care, but could not do much because they were bound to their parents’ actions.
The four of the accused were jointly charged with the murder of Siti Hajar at Jalan Air Putih, Taman Semarak, Binjai in Chukai at 10.45pm on April 26, 2016.
The prosecution was led by deputy public prosecutor Zulfazliah Mahmud, while all of the accused were represented by lawyer Masliela Ismail.
Throughout the trial, the prosecution called 24 witnesses to the stand while the defence called seven witnesses, including the four accused. -Bernama