Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Couple gets 23 years for child abuse

The accused: Mohd Shazwan and Norazira being escorted to the Magistrate’s Court in Kuala Terengganu.

A couple was jailed a total of 23 years in prison for abusing three children belonging to the woman.

Mohd Shazwan Shaari, 26, and his wife Norazira Abas, 29, pleaded guilty after Deputy Public Prosecutor Masriwani Mahmud read the charges to them before Magistrate Rozianti Mohamed Hanaphi.

Mohd Shazwan, a labourer, was sentenced to 13 years in jail while his unemployed wife, Norazira, was jailed for 10 years.

The couple, who married 10 months ago, faced three charges of abuse under Section 31(1)(a) of the Children Act 2001 which carries a maximum jail term of 10 years or RM20,000 fine or both, if convicted.

The victims were Norazira’s children from a previous marriage.

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Her former husband was killed in a road accident several years ago.

The couple was accused of causing physical harm to the children between March 15 and June 24 at a house in Gong Badak here.

According to the statement of facts, the couple tied the seven-year-old victim to a chair before splashing him with hot water, burning his body with a cigarette and shoving a fishing rod into the victim’s anus.

The five-year-old victim was hit in his private parts with a broom, burnt with a cigarette, and punched repeatedly on the face.

The youngest of the siblings, who is only two years and six months old, was burnt with a cigarette on his ears and knees.

Norazira was in tears while Mohd Shazwan appeared subdued as they nodded when the court asked them if they were guilty of the accusations.

Police uncovered the abuse when they rescued the eldest boy who was locked up all alone in the house on June 25.

The boy was found starving and had multiple injuries, including cigarette burns, hot water scaldings and bruises.

The police were alerted on the incident by the Welfare Department, who received a report from a concerned neighbour who heard the child’s cries.

The couple was nabbed the following day at a different house in Gong Badak where police also found the other two children, also with signs of abuse.

Police said Mohd Shazwan is a hardcore drug user and the two both tested positive for methamphetamine.

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