Singapore

Man accused of killing stepdaughter, 4, after she urinated on floor

A man, 28, who assaulted his four-year-old stepdaughter after he became angry at her for urinating outside the toilet bowl went on trial for murder yesterday.

Muhammad Salihin Ismail is accused of causing the girl, Nursabrina Agustiani Abdullah, to suffer fatal injuries sometime between 9am on Sept 1, 2018, and 9.40am on Sept 2, 2018, at the family's rental flat in Bukit Batok.

He faces the death penalty or life imprisonment if convicted of murder.

Prosecutors told the High Court that Salihin had confessed to assaulting her in his police statements and psychiatric interviews.

He admitted to kicking the girl's abdomen while she was on the floor, saying he targeted her stomach because he wanted to "teach her a lesson" for having "so much problem peeing or passing motion".

Citing case law, the prosecution said that it needs only to prove that Salihin intended to inflict the fatal injuries and it was not necessary to prove an intention to cause death.

Salihin married the girl's mother, Syabilla Syamien Riyadi, 24, in 2016 when Sabrina was two years old. The couple also have a pair of twin boys together.

Syabilla is currently in prison and has been lined up as a prosecution witness.

On the morning of Sept 1, 2018, after Syabilla had left for work, Salihin became angry when he saw a puddle of urine on the floor just outside the toilet. He placed the girl on the toilet bowl and hit her in the stomach a few times with his fist.

That afternoon, the girl went to the toilet. On seeing that she had urinated on the floor again, Salihin pushed her to the floor. While she was lying on her side, Salihin kicked her stomach at least twice. As she cried, he picked her up and hit her again in the stomach.

That evening, after Syabilla returned home with dinner, the girl complained of stomach pain after eating some rice. She then started vomiting, which went on overnight.

The next morning, she became unconscious after Salihin used his finger to ease her vomit. He then carried her out of the toilet and told Syabilla to call for an ambulance.

Resuscitation efforts failed and the girl was pronounced dead at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital at 10.12am. Hospital officials reported the death to the police and Salihin was arrested the next day.

An autopsy found that she died from internal bleeding due to blunt force trauma of the abdomen.

The trial continues on Wednesday. - THE STRAITS TIMES

COURT & CRIME