KUALA PILAH: A couple and their 21-year-old daughter pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court here to a charge of abusing a five-year-old girl who had been left under their care.
R. Guna Silan, 42, K. Nagamah, 41 and G. Nisha 21 claimed trial to the charge after it was read to them before judge Norma Ismail.
The couple are the victim’s grand uncle and aunt.
The trio allegedly committed the offence around noon between July 15 and 19 at a house in Taman Seri Mahsan in Bandar Seri Jempol.
They allegedly assaulted, used a cane to hit the victim and splashed hot water on the victim causing her to suffer multiple injuries.
The suspects were charged under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001.
Offenders can be fined up to RM50,000 or jailed up to 20 years or both upon conviction.
Deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Amirul Noor Hashimi then told the court that the offence was non-bailable but if it were to allow it, then additional conditions had to be imposed.
Counsel for the accused Haresh Mahadevan then told the court that the suspects had given themselves up and cooperated with the police.
“All three do not have passports and are not a flight risk. The daughter has also been offered a place in a public university and is due to report next month,” he said.
Haresh said bail should also be considered as the victim was now living with her mother in Johor Baru and there was no possibility of witness-tampering.
He also appealed for a minimum bail as Guna did not have a permanent job and Nagamah was only a housewife.
Haresh was assisted by Ramzani Idris.
Norma then set bail at RM5,000 with one surety for each of the accused.
The court also fixed Aug 23 for next mention.
Police started a probe into the case after receiving a report from the victim’s mother on July 27, claiming that the girl had been abused.
Preliminary investigations by the police revealed that the victim had suffered injuries, swelling at various places on her body and burn marks and had old scars.
Police had prior to this said the victim’s mother had sent the girl to the couple to be cared for as she worked in Johor Baru.
She also paid the couple RM300 a month to look after the girl.
The suspects were arrested after they gave themselves up at the Bandar Seri Jempol police station on July 30.-The Star