Man admits to causing death of 3-year-old niece

National 2 minutes, 55 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

A MAN admitted yesterday to causing the death of his three-year-old niece but maintained his innocence on the charge of abusing another niece.

The 29-year-old Bruneian is facing up to 15 years in prison and an unspecified amount in fines for the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and a fine of up to $20,000, a term not exceeding 10 years in prison and up to 10 strokes of the cane for the child abuse charge.

The defendant, whose name is withheld to protect the identity of the deceased, at first became angry and scolded the toddler when she did not follow his instruction for her to take a shower in the morning of August 17.

At the time, the defendant’s family members were not at the house, leaving him to take care of the victim, Miss X, and his youngest child, who was five months old then.

Following the shower incident, the court document stated that between 8.30am and 9.45am, the defendant struck the toddler as he had became agitated and angry when she refused to follow any of his instructions to dress herself.

It stated that the 29-year-old defendant threw the toddler twice, once onto the bed and later at the sofa only to have her bounced off, falling onto the floor and hitting the back of her head; he also pulled her numerous times, slapped her twice causing her mouth to bleed, punched her hard in the stomach twice and kicked her body several times while he stood over her.

Throughout the ordeal, as Miss X cried and was doubled over with pain, and begged for the defendant to stop, he continued to assault her until she stopped crying as she was already weak.

When the grandfather returned home, he noticed bruises on Miss X but the defendant did not tell him the truth about what happened to her. It was only when the defendant’s wife came back home at 11.30am and found Miss X on the floor looking weak and bruised that she confronted the defendant who then admitted that he punched Miss X.

An ambulance was called to bring the toddler to the hospital around 1pm, when they noticed that Miss X got weaker, vomiting and defecating her pants several times.

However, on their way to the hospital Miss X became unconscious and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

When asked by a medical officer, the defendant lied when he said he found Miss X doubled over on the floor near a leaking washing machine.

The police were later brought in to investigate after the medical officer discovered suspicious injuries on the deceased.

It was during the investigation that the defendant admitted that he had assaulted Miss X several times in the morning of August 17 this year.

He had assaulted Miss X out of frustration and had a vengeance against Miss X’s parents.

In a post mortem report, it stated that the cause of death was “shock and hemorrhage from multiple internal injuries due to blunt trauma”. The medical officer found 63 injuries on Miss X’s body.

The defendant, who is unrepresented, is denying the charge of beating up his six-year-old niece and stubbing out a cigarette on her right foot some time in July this year. The trial for the case is set to commence on November 21.

Meanwhile, the defendant was denied a family visit when his wife, who is a prosecution witness, refused to see the defendant at the court cell.

The Brunei Times