Public Prosecutor v Ahmad Nachiya

CourtMagistrates' Court (Singapore)
JudgeAdam Nakhoda
Judgment Date07 January 2002
Neutral Citation[2002] SGMC 1
Citation[2002] SGMC 1
Publication Date19 September 2003

Judgment

GROUNDS OF DECISION

Introduction

1. Mdm. Ahmad Nachiya (hereinafter "Mdm. Nachiya) pleaded guilty to two charges under section 323 read with section 73 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224. She admitted to a further two charges and consented to them being taken into consideration for the purposes of sentencing.


Punishment for the offences.

2. The prescribed punishment for voluntarily causing hurt under section 323 read with section 72(3) is a term of imprisonment which may extend to one and a half years, or to a fine which may extend to $1,500 of both.


The Statement of Facts

3. Mdm. Nachiya admitted without qualification the statement of facts (marked exhibit A).


Antecedents

4. Mdm. Nachiya has no antecedents or previous convictions.


Mitigation and Defence submission on sentence

5. Counsel for the accused persons Mr. Mathialahan tendered a written mitigation, marked D1. In mitigation Mdm. Nachiya said that she had three children aged 14, 8 and 2 years old. At the time of the offences the youngest child was 1 year old. The victim had been employed specifically to look after the youngest child and clean the house. As part of her duties the victim would prepare milk, cereals and porridge for the youngest child.

6. The accused had stressed to the victim that in the preparation of the youngest child's food she had to be wary that all bones and shells were removed from the ingredients. However, the victim on numerous occasions failed to heed these warnings and there would be egg shells and bones in the porridge. Despite being chastised for these mistakes the victim remained indifferent and would repeat the same mistakes. In mitigation the accused recounted occasions when the victim's negligence led to the youngest child almost being scalded and on one occasion chewing on a piece of broken glass. The accused submitted that she wanted to transfer the victim but she kept the victim out of pity as the victim said that she would prefer to work for the accused as the accused's family were also Muslims.

7. With regards to the first charge the accused said that as she was feeding her child with the porridge prepared by the victim the child began to vomit and choke. The accused discovered two fish bones in the child's vomit. When the victim was called to explain she did not say anything and out of sheer frustration and in the heat of the moment the accused fisted the victim on her cheek.

8. With regards to the fourth charge the accused said that at about 12.00 p.m. the maid was bathing the child in the bathroom as the accused did some housework. The accused then heard her youngest child screaming. The accused rushed to the bathroom to find the victim squatting on the floor with the child standing next to her. The victim refused to explain what had happened until she had been repeatedly questioned by the accused after which the victim said that the child had fallen down. The accused noticed a swelling on the child's forehead. As a result of this the accused lost her temper and assaulted the victim. Mr. Mathialahan submitted that the accused had been provoked by the victim's actions into assaulting her and he confirms this by a statement signed by the victim, through the auspices of the Indonesian Embassy, wherein the victim admits to provoking the accused into assaulting her.

9. The accused submitted that in general the relationship between the victim and she was cordial. The accused would go out of her way to buy Hari Raya gifts for the victim and give her pocket money. Until the last incident the victim never complained of the abuse to any of the accused's visitors.

10. The accused expressed remorse for her actions. Mr. Mathialahan stressed that the accused had chosen not to claim trial to the charges. The accused has also compensated the victim by paying her a sum of $1,000 through the Indonesian Embassy. Mr. Mathialahan submitted a letter from the Embassy testifying to this fact and it is obvious from that letter that the accused had also tendered her sincere apologies to the victim.

11. Mr. Mathialahan referred to three unreported decisions as sentencing precedents in...

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