GEORGE TOWN: A grass cutter was sentenced to three years jail by the Sessions Court here today after he pleaded guilty to abusing his stepdaughter earlier this month.
Judge Norsalha Hamzah also fined the 36-year-old accused RM10,000, in default of one-year jail, for the offence.
“The victim in this case is a child.
“And the court views seriously such offence due to public interest,” she said before handing down her judgment.
The accused pleaded guilty to abusing his stepdaughter, aged 10 years and four months, by hurting the child with a knife, which had been heated up, causing her to suffer from physical and emotional injuries at the Sri Saujana Flats in Gat Lebuh Macallum about 12.30am on Feb 1.
He was charged under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001.
The charge was read to him twice — once in Malay and the other in Tamil — by the court interpreter.
Earlier, in mitigation, the accused pleaded for a lenient sentence.
“I am taking care of the child and my wife is currently pregnant,” he said.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Nurul Fatin Hussin pressed for an appropriate sentence, saying that the victim in this case was a young girl.
“The victim is the stepdaughter of the accused. What he had done to her was inhumane.
“As a stepfather, he should be treating the child as his own,” she said.
It was reported on Feb 19 that police arrested a 41-year-old woman to assist in investigation into a child abuse case.
The woman, a dishwasher, believed to be the child’s mother, was picked up following a report lodged by the Malaysian Tamilar Kural.
The child’s stepfather was also picked up the same day.
It was reported that the complainant saw the child sitting in front of the building’s entrance as he was parking his car in front of a condominium in Pulau Tikus here.
The complainant then went to greet the child and was told she was left there by her mother.
The complainant saw injuries on the child’s right hand and left leg, and was told by her that hot steel had caused the injuries.
The child is still being treated at the Penang Hospital and currently under the care of the state Welfare Department.