Published: Wednesday March 6, 2013 MYT 4:06:00 PM
Factory worker let off with RM3,000 fine over newborn's death
By QISHIN TARIQ
PUTRAJAYA: A factory worker, who was initially charged with murdering her baby, was let off with a RM3,000 fine by the Court of Appeals.
Nurul Syuhada Shamsudin, 23, had her charge reduced to concealment of birth or secret disposal of a body, after the prosecution appealed against the Penang High Court's 2011 decision to acquit her of the murder charge.
She pleaded guilty to the alternative charge.
Counsel E. Gnasegaran pleaded for leniency saying his client had been in remand for 13 months during the course of the trial.
"Research shows that post-partum psychosis has complex causes and does not spring from criminal tendencies.
"Counseling would better serve a person in my client's situation than a prison term," he said in mitigation on Wednesday.
DPP Aslinda Ahad urged for a deterrent sentence, saying the accused, then 19, was old enough to be aware of the consequences of her actions.
"In asking for a heavier sentence, I speak as a prosecutor, as a woman, as a mother.
"The baby, her own child was found abandoned in a toilet bowl, a filthy, terrible place to die," she said.
Justices Abdul Malik Ishak, Linton Albert and Mohd Zawawi Salleh were unanimous in sentencing Nurul Syuhada to a fine of RM3,000 in default of two months prison.
"Taking into account both parties arguments, the 13 months you spent in remand, the pain and humiliation you've gone through, we are sympathetic.
"However, you have committed the crime and must face the consequences," said Justice Abdul Malik.
Nurul Syuhada paid the fine.
On Jan 25 2011, the Penang High Court acquitted Nurul Syuhada of murdering her newborn daughter by flushing the baby down the toilet at her workplace in 2009.
She was initially charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code which carries a mandatory death sentence upon conviction.