SHAH ALAM - He was her uncle and she trusted him. Instead, the five-year-old died in his hands when he slapped, beat, kicked and tortured her.
Taxi driver C. Prabu, 30, now has to pay for his crime by spending 12 years in jail. He admitted to causing the death of T. Durga Darshini at the High Court yesterday.
When delivering the sentence, judge Ghazali Cha said what Prabu and his wife did to Durga was "worse than animals".
Prabu's wife, cashier V. Vasanthy, 28, got two years in jail from the date of her arrest; and another two years good behaviour bond, for exposing the child to physical harm.
Durga was the daughter of Vasanthy's sister.
The child was staying with the couple for over a month before the deadly assault two years ago.
When Durga's family visited Prabu and Vasanthy's home on Aug 30, 2013, the little girl pleaded with them not to leave.
During the investigation, Prabu's eldest son told police he saw his parents hit Durga with a rubber pipe.
He said they also kicked the girl until she hit a wall and burnt her skin with cigarette butts.
A daughter said she also saw her parents hit the child with a belt and punch her in the abdomen.
Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali, who represented Vasanthy, pointed out that she had been in remand for almost two years.
"If both parents are sent to jail, the family will fall apart," he argued in asking for a reduced jail term.