Court enhances jail sentence on babysitter who choked toddler to death with green chilli

PUTRAJAYA, A babysitter, who shoved a green chilli into the mouth of a toddler until he choked to death returns to jail today after the Court of Appeal enhanced to 10 years the 18-month sentence imposed on her.

Justice Yaacob Md Sam who chaired a three-member panel held that the jail sentence imposed by the High Court on Asmarani Ghazali was manifestly inadequate.

In allowing the prosecution’s appeal to increase the jail term, the judge (Justice Yaacob) said the High Court judge erred when he considered the interest of the respondent (Asmarani) more than the public interest.

The panel which also comprised Justices Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof and P.Ravinthran ordered Asmarani to serve the sentence from the date of her arrest on June 21, 2018.

Asmarani, 40, was released from prison on June 21, this year after serving the 18-month jail term.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Zain Ibrahim pleaded the court to give a deterrent sentence saying that Asmarani’s act of putting green chilli in the mouth of the two and-a-half-year-old Muhammad Afif Kamarol Azli, who was under her care, just because he was whimpering, was too much.

“The child just wanted attention because he was unwell that morning,” he said.

A post-mortem report showed that the child’s cause of death was choking.

The mother of three was initially charged with murder but she was subsequently given an alternative charge under the Child Act 2001 for mistreating the toddler which she pleaded guilty.

Asmarani was charged with committing the offence at a house in Taman Tuanku Ja’afar, Seremban two days before Hari Raya Aidilfitri between 9.30 am and 10 am on June 13, last year.

According to the facts of the case, the child did not stop whimpering despite being pacified by Asmarani who later asked the child to throw his diaper in the dustbin in the kitchen.

The child threw the diaper but he did not stop whimpering as he was unwell.

Asmarani then took out a green chilli from the refrigerator, broke it into half and put it into the boy’s mouth to make him stop.

Upon noticing that he was having breathing difficulties, Asmarani, accompanied by her husband and one of her own children, rushed the boy to two clinics but they were advised to take him to the hospital instead.

Asmarani’s counsel Datuk Hanif Hassan earlier submitted that the 18 months jail term imposed by the High Court was appropriate, adding that the High Court judge had considered all aspects including the impact statement of the child’s mother.

Hanif later told reporters that he received instruction from his client to file an appeal to the Federal Court against today’s decision.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)