Suspect pleads guilty to dumping body in toddler murder case

National 3 minutes, 42 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

A MAN was sentenced by the Magistrates’ Court yesterday to serve three months in jail following his guilty plea on the charges of disposing the body of a dead toddler and lodging a false report to the police.

The court document states that the defendant, Yussof Hj Ibrahim, 52, was implicated in disposing the body when his friend, Ros Tinah Hj Mohd Adi @ Awang Adi, asked him to help her stepson, Muhammad Firdaus Hj Hamid, and his wife, Masnani Hj Masri, in finding someone who can arrange a funeral for their recently deceased adopted daughter, Miss X.

When they were unable to find a person to help arrange the funeral, the defendant then agreed with the couple’s suggestion of dumping the body instead.

Yussof suggested disposing the body at an isolated place in Kuala Balai.

After carrying out the plan, Yussof felt remorse for his action and reported the matter to the police.

He told them that he had found the dead body instead of telling the police that he was actually involved in dumping the deceased there.

Investigation led to the identity of the toddler and Yussof.

Upon further questioning, the defendant confessed to his involvement in disposing the body.

During the proceedings yesterday, Senior Magistrate Lailatul Zubaidah Hj Mohd Hussain in delivering her sentencing verdict on Yussof said that a fine is not appropriate in these very sad circumstances.

“It is difficult to comprehend how the defendant was able to dispose of an innocent child’s corpse the way he did. To have complete disregard for the dead child’s dignity by stripping her of her clothes after placing her in the bushes can only be described as inhuman,” said the senior magistrate.

The court noted that Yussof did make enquiries with regards to the little girl’s death and did suggest for the body to be brought to the hospital initially.

The defendant however, despite his apparent reservations went along with what the court described as a ‘sick’ plan of Firdaus and his wife.

“Ultimately, it was the defendant who suggested the location of the dumping place as an isolated place in Kuala Balai,” said the senior magistrate.

While the court accepted the defendant’s regret in his action after disposing the body, it was not enough to accept full responsibility for his action at that point in time resulting in the charge against him.

“Nevertheless, if not for his report to the police, albeit a report based on false information, the little girl’s body would have been exposed to the elements far longer than it had already been and the matter would not have come to light till later,” said the senior magistrate.

The court said that in the public interest of upholding social and moral values, the court must send out a strong message that offences such as these will be dealt with seriously.

“Every human being has a basic right to respect, whether dead or alive. More so an innocent child. And as Muslims, it is incumbent upon us to pay our respects to the dead and administer rites and remind fellow Muslims of the same,” said the senior magistrate. Yussof was ordered by the court to serve his three months in jail with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, Ros Tinah, who has also pleaded guilty to failure to report a suspicious death of the toddler was imposed a $1,000 fine in-default of one month in jail.

At the High Court recently, Muhammad Firdaus pleaded guilty to causing the death of the toddler, Miss X, some time between September 13 and 14. Md Firdhaus also admitted to taking part in a transaction to transfer permanently the custody of a child, by offering Miss X for adoption to a man, Asmadi Hj Puteh, for a sum of $3,000 some time between June and September 13.

He also pleaded guilty to causing permanent disfigurement to Miss X, whereby he caused grievious hurt to the child’s upper lip by scalding. The defendant is also accused of voluntarily causing hurt to Miss X by burning her on various parts of her body.

The defendant also pleaded guilty to the joint-charges he is facing with his wife Masnani Hj Masri. Masnani is claiming trial to the charges of impersonation and disposing the dead toddler at Kuala Balai.

Their case is scheduled to be heard at the High Court on December 26, before Justice Dato Paduka Hairol Arni Hj Abdul Majid.

The Brunei Times