A five-year-old girl in Ipoh, Perak, who died after 11 days in a coma due to abuse from her mother, had been caned so badly that she had 100 wounds over her head and body.
Housewife Choong Mee Chin, 30, was sentenced by the High Court in Ipoh last Friday to a total of 10 years in jail - six years for manslaughter and another four for abusing her daughter Ho Yan Hui.
Deputy Public Prosecutor How May Ling said the girl had been abused over five months and caned with such force that a post-mortem showed that she had over 100 wounds on her head and body, reported The Star.
"She clearly suffered from constant physical abuse at the hands of the very person entrusted to protect her," she said, in pressing for maximum sentence.
Choong, who was initially charged with murder, eventually pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
She also admitted to abusing Yan Hui by caning her on her head and body, an offence under the Child Act.
Both offences took place in the living room of a house on Aug 12, 2013, at about 9am.
Yan Hui died from brain abscess with septicaemia in all her inner organs and she was not given the proper medical attention that could have saved her life, said Ms How.
"A home should have been Yan Hui's sanctuary, but in this case, it became her grave," she said, adding that the girl died a slow and painful death.
In her judgment, Judicial Commissioner Noorin Badaruddin said that family problems stemming from financial difficulties must not be used as an excuse to abuse a child.
"There are many other families facing financial problems, but these parents still give love and care to their children.
"Although in our community it is normal to beat a child to discipline, abuse is not. Children should never be objects for parents to release their anger upon," she said.
Choong, she added, should have sought help from the Welfare Department since Yan Hui was a special child. The child had delayed speech, according to Choong's lawyer.
Choong's lawyer, Mr Chong Kok Yew, said in mitigation that Choong suffered from depression after giving birth to her third child in 2011.
"Her condition worsened due to having to care for the deceased, who besides suffering from speech delay, was stubborn and naughty, as well as her two other children," he said.
This article was first published on February 3, 2015.
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