Singapore mum who beat son to death gets harsher jail sentence
The Court of Appeal has raised the jail term of the Singapore mum who beat her son to death. Read about the case here...
It was a case that shocked Singapore; of abuse that had gone too far.
Singapore mum Noraidah Mohd Yussof was sentenced to 8 years of jail last year, for beating up her 4-year-old son Airyl so badly that he died from a fractured skull, and bleeding in the brain.
We shudder to think how a mum could have taken the life of her own child.
According to The Straits Times, little Airyl had had a rather sad childhood. He had to deal with abuse ever since he was a toddler. His mum once stepped on his ribs when he was 2, just because she was unimpressed by his learning abilities. He had been unable to follow her instructions when had she tried to teach him the alphabet.
She had also twisted his hand in anger for scribbling on the sofa.
The poor little boy had ended up with fractures to the elbow, calf and four ribs, as well as multiple bruises. Noting how badly the boy had been treated, the Ministry of Family and Social Development (MSF) had then placed him in the care of her brother and sister-in-law. He was however, later returned to his mum's care.
More horrific assault was to happen 2 years later though. On the ill-fated day, Noraidah pushed her son repeatedly, at various times of the day, causing him to hit his head on the TV console and on the floor multiple times. She also stood on his stomach, and grabbed him by the neck, and lifted him while pushing him against a wall. The boy eventually went unresponsive.
He had been punished because he was unable to recite 11 to 18 fluently in Malay.
Airyl died four days after he was sent to hospital with a brain injury and fractured skull. His condition was so bad, his family had decided to take him off life support.
This writer is feeling distressed just writing about the incident; one can't imagine the suffering the child had to endure, before his sad demise.
Last year, Noraidah was sentenced by the High Court to 8 years of jail. The prosecution felt that the sentence was too lenient, and appealed to the Court of Appeal for a heavier sentence of at least 12 years of jail.
According to Channel NewsAsia, prosecutors stressed that, "This was not a mother who acted in desperation or as a cry for help. She had no affection for (her son), and treated him cruelly and without an ounce of compassion."
"She deserves none herself.”
Meanwhile, Noraidah's excuse for the cruelty meted out to her son, was that she was single, unemployed and stressed over her financial problems. Her lawyer, Ms Diana Ngiam, apparently told the apex court that Airyl’s father had abandoned Noraidah when she was 7 months pregnant, and when she gave birth, she was in no shape to look after a newborn. This it seems, had led to severe bonding issues between mother and son.
Ms. Ngiam has been quoted by Channel NewsAsia as saying, "This was a mother who simply could not cope with the constant frustration and exasperation of not being able to (bond with her son).” (Apparently, Noraidah also has an older daughter, with whom she shares a close relationship.)
The Court of Appeal finally made its decision. On Thursday, July 6, Singapore's highest court moved to raise Noraidah's jail term from 8 years to 14 and a half years instead.
In delivering the sentence, the Chief Justice noted the boy's young age, and the fact that his abuser was his own mother, who had a duty to protect him, but instead, showed cruelty to a poor, defenceless child.