Sweden child abuse trial: Eldest daughter says mum beat her less after being warned by authorities

STOCKHOLM - Painting a different picture of the Malaysian couple in Sweden on trial for allegedly hitting their children, their daughter says she was not beaten often over the last few years.

Aishah said her mother, Shalwati Nurshal stopped hitting her children so often after being warned by a Stockholm International school counsellor that such behaviour was not allowed in Sweden.

Sweden has outlawed corporal punishment since 1979, and those found guilty of breaking the law could face up to six years prison.

"About two years ago (2012), a teacher called mum after Adam complained the he was being beaten at home. After meeting with the teacher, mum seemed sad and wouldn't beat us even when she was mad," said Aishah.

Aishah explained that her mother was strict on Adam, her second of three younger brothers, as he had learning disabilities.

Shalwati and her husband Azizul Raheem Awalluddin were detained on Dec 18 last year after their eldest son, Ammar told staff at his school that he had been hit, and the matter was later reported the authorities.

Over the course of several interviews recorded between December 2013 and January this year, Aishah was seen wearing an oversized winter jacket, which she would flap around when unsure how to answer questions posed.

Asked if she was beaten often, Aishah said it happened less than 15 times a year, but she was beaten more often four years ago while the family was living in South Africa.

When the policewoman asked for an occasion when Shalwati hit her, Aishah was hesitant, asking in return, "do I have to say? It's kind of personal".

The 15-year-old covered her face with her overlong sleeve and began to sob, prompting the policewoman to ask Aishah why she was crying.

"I'm crying because my mum could go to jail, because she hits us even though it's forbidden here," said Aishah.

During a later interview, Aishah revealed that she had a bad habit of stealing chocolates and cakes, which caused her mother to beat her.

When Aishah said her mother beat her to discipline her and her brothers, the policewoman reminded Aishah that parents are not allowed to hit their children.

"This happens every month or so, basically whenever my parents bring home chocolate. If they bring home chocolate, I eat it and mum beats me," said Aishah, adding that her father only scolded her.

Aishah said her father never beat her, as men hit harder.

"If a father hit a child, wouldn't they bleed to death? I'd rather he not do that," said Aishah, sounding genuinely alarmed.

On Feb 10, Shalwati and Azizul were charged with multiple counts of gross violation of a child's integrity, by hitting and abusing their children.

The alleged offences took place in the family's home in SpÄnga, a Stockholm suburb, between September 15, 2010 and December 17, 2013.

The trial continues on Feb 25.