Woman who gave birth while in remand charged

KUALA LUMPUR - A woman who gave birth while in remand was charged in several Ampang magistrate's courts with 17 counts of theft amounting to RM36,320 (S$14400) .

Unemployed Aida Suryani Ashabudin, 28, claimed trial to stealing cash and valuables worth between RM520 and RM8,000 on 17 occasions in various homes in the Ampang Jaya district over a span of three years.

She had allegedly stolen items that included handphones, laptops, DSLR camera, jewellery, wallets, bags, television sets, and even a fridge.

Deputy Public Prosecutor S. Purnima urged the court not to offer bail, saying Aida Suryani had been a wanted woman since 2011 after she failed to appear for a criminal case which also involved theft.

She added that the court should also consider the sheer number and similar nature of the charges being brought against the accused.

Magistrate Noor Farah Hazwani Osman granted bail at RM4,000 for each offence with two sureties and the additional condition that Aida Suryani report to a police station once a week.

Meanwhile, in the second magistrate court, DPP Goh Ai Rene also objected to bail, saying Aida Suryani was a flight risk, having absconded bail in her 2011 case.

Goh submitted that the court handling Aida Suryani's case in 2011 was forced to order a discharge not amounting to acquittal after she stopped attending.

Counsel B. Gomathy pleaded for leniency, saying her client had just given birth while in remand on Sept 4, the day after she was arrested.

"While there is the matter of public interest, in this case, the interest of the child and its mother should come first. A mother should be with her child if possible," said Gomathy.

She asked for a lower bail amount as her client was unemployed while her husband earned RM2,000 a month as a mechanic.

When asked by magistrate Ayuni Izzaty Sulaiman where her child was, Aida Suryani said her mother was caring for the 16-day-old baby.

The court allowed bail at RM5,000 for the remaining 11 charges with two sureties and the same condition that she report to a police station once a week.

Both magistrates set Oct 17 for next mention.