Woman in Malaysia child murder case claims to have 'battered wife syndrome'

Woman in Malaysia child murder case claims to have 'battered wife syndrome'
Troubled family: The suspects being led out of the Selayang magistrate’s court.

GOMBAK - The woman being investigated along with her husband for the alleged murder and burial of their child in the kitchen floor of their rented home in Kepong is claiming she was also a victim in the incident.

Lawyer Kitson Foong, who represented the 32-year-old woman at the Selayang magistrate's court yesterday, requested that she undergo a psychiatric examination to prove that his client was suffering from "battered wife syndrome".

The housewife and her 33-year-old moneylender husband had their remands extended until June 13. The couple are expected to be charged next week.

Foong said he intended to prove that while she may have been involved in the gruesome tragedy, she was not a willing participant.

"We have requested to the magistrate that my client be sent to Hospital Bahagia for a psychiatric examination, specifically for battered wife syndrome.

"We believe she is suffering from this syndrome. She was as much a victim as the children," he told reporters outside the court complex.

According to the Canadian Medical Association Journal, battered wife syndrome is a condition where a woman who is under physical or psychological abuse from her spouse will choose to remain with him because she fears him.

It said treatment is only possible when the woman leaves her husband.

Foong added that the couple's 14-year-old daughter may take the stand during the trial to testify.

There is also a possibility of the younger children testifying under the Evidence of Child Witness Act 2007.

He added that the female suspect was "worried about her children", who were left in Penampang when police came for her last Sunday.

"She is sad because she has lost a child but also relieved that she can finally express what truly happened, and people will finally hear her pleas for help," said Foong.

The lawyer for the husband requested that the man be sent to a hospital to have his foot looked at for an injury he suffered during a "fight" last year.

The couple arrived in separate cars at the court complex yesterday.

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