A Seremban babysitter has been jailed for 18 months
The babysitter had reportedly shoved a green chilli into the mouth of a two-year-old baby under her care till he choked to death during the incident that happened 13 June.
On 3 July, the 39-year-old accused was charged at the Seremban Magistrate's court with the murder of the toddler, Muhammad Afif Kamarol Azli.
However, the accused, Asmarani Ghazali, pleaded not guilty when she was charged with the toddler's murder under Section 302 of the Penal Code.
The babysitter, who has three kids of her own, instead pleaded guilty to an alternative charge under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act, read together with Section 31(5)(b).
While the alternative charge provides a jail term of up to 20 years or a fine of up to RM50,000, High Court judge Datuk Abu Bakar Jais delivered his verdict on Friday, 28 September, sentencing the accused to 18 months in jail, reported The Star Online.
While the Deputy Public Prosecutor urged the court to consider the seriousness of the offence and impose a sentence of between 10 and 15 years in jail, the defence lawyer sought a lighter sentence
According to defence lawyer Datuk Hanif Hassan, his client Asmarani had been looking after the toddler, Muhammad Afif, for two years and had saved the court's time by pleading guilty to the alternative charge under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act.
"The accused had no knowledge that the boy had swallowed the chilli. This was an accident and she is remorseful," defence lawyer Hassan told the High Court.
The toddler's mother, Rahmawati in her impact statement, told the court how her family had been traumatised by the death of her son
"Our happiness was shattered in an instance by this individual. My son died because he was deliberately abused and not because she was negligent," the mother said, adding that she wanted justice for her boy.
In the incident that occurred two days before Hari Raya, the babysitter took out a green chilli from the refrigerator, broke it into half and put it into the toddler's mouth to make him stop crying
She, however, panicked after noticing that the toddler was not breathing properly.
Accompanied by her husband and one of her own children, the babysitter rushed the toddler to two local clinics before being sent out to the Tuanku Ja'afar Hospital in Seremban where the toddler was pronounced dead while receiving treatment.