BY Fadley Faisal
THE Intermediate Court Monday sent a mother to jail for seven years after she pleaded guilty to repeatedly assaulting her child and consuming drugs.
The defendant was also ordered to pay a fine of B$1,500, or serve an additional jail term of three months in default of payment.
DPP Hajah Rozaimah binti Haji Abdul Rahman’s facts of the case stated that the defendant, frustrated over her marriage with her estranged husband, took videos of her assaulting her baby and sent them to him in an attempt to make him come back to her.
She started abusing her daughter when she was a few months old sometime between February and March 2017 at their home in Brunei-Muara District.
The defendant took the pacifier from her sleeping baby and covered her face with a cushion pillow causing her to cry and suffer shortness of breath. She did it again for a second time.
Sometime in March 2017, the defendant slapped her baby and groped her face when she was two-three months old, recorded her acts and saying “cry cry cry” and then sent the video to her husband.
On September 2, 2017 at their home, the defendant screamed angrily at her baby who was sitting in a walker and suddenly kicked the walker, causing the baby’s chest to hit it. The baby cried profusely due to pain.
The defendant’s sister saw the baby crying and pushed the mother and scolded her. The sister, with the help of the defendant’s half-brother and another sister who arrived at the scene, managed to take the baby away from her.
Later, a police report was lodged by the defendant’s siblings.
On September 3, 2017 the defendant‘s urine sample was taken by the Narcotics Control Bureau which later tested positive for methylamphetamine. When the defendant was on police bail, on the morning of January 31, 2018, she stepped on her baby’s face repeatedly, again took videos of the act and sent to her husband.
On February 1, 2018 she ordered her baby to walk by herself on the staircase of their home.
The defendant then kicked the baby on the ribs causing her to cry profusely and took her back to their bedroom. Shortly after, the defendant took the baby for a walk and released her hand causing her to fall and hit her head on the floor.
Later that afternoon, the defendant made a video call to her husband and showed him her repeatedly slapping the baby on the face and arms.
The defendant also said in the video call that “is this the father who loves you, does he care about you or not? He doesn’t even give you money”.
The husband lodged a police report showing the videos and the defendant was immediately arrested.
In mitigations, the defendant said she regretted her wrongdoing and was desperate for the attention of her husband who had not visited them and did not give financial support.
Judge Lailatul Zubaidah binti Haji Mohd Hussain considered the victim’s young age when she was abused seriously aggravating and said it was a heinous act by the mother whose particular duty was to protect her baby.
“There is nothing to be said in her favour,” said Judge Lailatul Zubaidah in her judgment, seeing that the defendant not only abuse her child but also consumed drugs while having care of her child.
“The defendant’s mitigation of remorse and regret was not visible in the courtroom. The defendant’s demeanour conveyed an air of nonchalance about the offences committed,” the Judge said.
-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin