“Boy chained to gas tank: Mum, stepdad to write to AG’s Chambers”

"Boy chained to gas tank: Mum, stepdad to write to AG's Chambers"

MediaNew Straits Times
Published Date9 January 2018
Written ByHidir Reduan

KUANTAN: An army corporal and his wife accused of chaining their 10-year-old son to a gas cylinder will be sending a letter of representation to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Lawyer Noor Svetlana Mohd Noor Nordin, who acted for accused Mohd Farid Mohamad and Fatimah Muhammad Zain, informed this to the Sessions Court today.

Under normal practice, a letter of representation may seek for the prosecution to either drop the charges or propose for the accused to plead guilty to a lesser charge, among others.

Deputy public prosecutor Shahrul Ekhsan Hasim informed the court that the medical report was not completed yet.

Judge Datuk Unaizah Mohd then set Feb 12 for mention of the case.

The boy and his 36-year-old biological father were seen in the public gallery today.

Mohd Farid, 32, was the victim’s stepfather.

On Nov 10 last year, Mohd Farid and Fatimah, 37, claimed trial to two charges over the incident, where images of the victim lying on the floor with steel chain tied around his neck and to the cylinder went viral on social media.

On the first count, the couple were charged with abusing the boy by chaining his neck to the gas cylinder, which caused injury.

On the second count, they were charged with leaving the child by himself without having made arrangements for his care.

Mohd Farid and Fatimah – who is the boy’s biological mother – purportedly committed the offences at their house

at Block 31, No. 9, Lorong Indera Mahkota 1/13, here.

The abuse allegedly took place between 1am and 9.15am on Oct 5, while the act of leaving the child by himself purportedly happened between 8am and 10.30pm on Sept 31.

It was reported that on Oct 5, a neighbour saw the boy chained inside the house before reporting the matter to the police.

A police team broke open the locked house and rescued the boy, who was found unconscious, chained and wearing only a pair of trousers.

Mohd Farid and Fatimah face a maximum RM50,000 fine, imprisonment of up to 20 years, or both, if found guilty of the abuse charge under Section 31 (1) (a) of the Child Act 2001.

The couple may also be punished with a fine not exceeding RM20,000, jail of up to five years, or both, if convicted on the second charge under Section 33 (1) (a) of the same act.

Late last year, the Court for Children here had awarded temporary one-month custody of the boy to his biological father.

The same court later last year extended the custody period by another three years.