18 years for killing baby

Off to Jail: Accused Arman being escorted back to the lock-up after sentencing at the Shah Alam High Court.

SHAM ALAM - A judge criticised a man's action in hitting his 10-month-old nephew, which resulted in his death.

In sentencing Arman Tarlin, High Court judge Justice Abdul Halim Aman said he could not comprehend what kind of discipline the accused wanted to instil in the baby by hitting him.

"He was so little. As an adult, you are so much stronger than the baby, who had no way of protecting himself. From the evidence presented, hitting the baby is unacceptable.

"Imagine if the baby was your son. You should not have allowed your temper to control your actions," the judge said.

Lorry driver Arman, 34, was sentenced to 18 years in jail for causing death by hitting the baby's abdomen with a cotton pillow twice three years ago.

He was charged with causing the death of Muhammad Amsyar Hadiff Abdullah on Dec 5, 2013, between 5pm and 9.30pm at Jalan Bakam, Batu 9, Kebun Baru, Teluk Panglima Garang in Kuala Langat near here.

Arman kept his head bowed when the charges were read again in court.

He was charged under Section 304(a) of the Penal Code for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which carries a jail term of up to 30 years and a fine.

During mitigation, Arman's counsel Muhammad Fadhli Sutris and Muhammad Hidhir Mustapa re­­ques­­ted for a lighter sentence, saying that their client had regretted his actions and never meant to cause the death of the baby.

Muhammad Fadhli said the accused had to support his family with two young children aged four and six.

Arman apologised to the court, saying that he was sorry for not being able to control his anger.

DPP Rosidah Abu Bakar asked for a severe punishment as the intention of the accused to educate did not warrant him hitting the baby.

"Although he only hit the baby twice, the impact was so strong that it caused his death. A severe pu­nishment should be delivered to deter anyone from taking matters into their own hands," she said.

Justice Abdul Halim ordered Arman's jail term to start from his date of arrest on Dec 7, 2013.

"You should be grateful that your original charge was changed to one with a lower punishment," he added.

Muhammad Amsyar was sent to Arman's house by his grandmother on Dec 2, 2013, to be taken care of by him and his wife.

The baby was found motionless by the accused's wife on the evening of Dec 5 and was pronounced dead after he was rushed to a nearby clinic.