Parents on trial for son's murder: No intention to scald boy if he didn't show attitude, says mum

A silver rectangular metal cage that was allegedly used to confine the five-year-old boy. His parents are being tried for murder by common intention for inflicting severe scald injuries on him.
A silver rectangular metal cage that was allegedly used to confine the five-year-old boy. His parents are being tried for murder by common intention for inflicting severe scald injuries on him.PHOTO: COURT DOCUMENTS

Three days after her severely scalded five-year-old son died in hospital, a woman told police that she had no intention to kill the child.

"How am I able to kill a child? Just look at my small body," Azlin Arujunah said in a statement that was read out in court yesterday in her ongoing trial for scalding the boy to death.

In another statement, she said: "I do not have the intention to pour the hot water on him if he did not show any attitude to-wards me."

Azlin and her husband, Ridzuan Mega Abdul Rahman, both 27, are being tried for murder by common intention for inflicting severe scald injuries on the boy.

Each of them also faces several charges for other abusive acts, including confining the boy in a cage meant for the family's pet cat, pinching him with a pair of pliers and hitting him with a broom.

Between Oct 15 and Oct 22, 2016, they allegedly splashed hot water on him on at least four occasions, using water from a hot water dispenser in the kitchen.

Scientific tests showed that the temperature of the water in the dispenser averaged 92.6 deg C.

When the boy collapsed after the last scalding incident, they took him to the hospital - after a six-hour delay - but he succumbed to his injuries on the morning of Oct 23.

Yesterday, the third day of the couple's trial, a few of the statements they had given to the police after their arrest were read out when the officers who recorded them took the stand.

 
 
 

Ridzuan said in a statement on Oct 27 that the victim was groaning in pain, saying "sakit (Malay for pain), sakit" on the way to the hospital.

Azlin said in a statement on Oct 26 that she beat her son only to discipline him. "If I had the intention of killing him, I would have killed my other children as well. But all my other children are safe, and I do not beat them," she said. "As a mother, I would not have the heart to kill my own child."

She also said that she missed all her children.

Information on the identities of the victim and his siblings, apart from their parents' names, cannot be published under a gag order.

In another statement taken on Oct 26, Azlin said she did not know that what she had done could cause the boy's death.

"I only wanted him to learn his lesson," she said. "Why would I want to do this to (him) when I have never beaten the other children? After all, he is also my son."

The trial continues.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2019, with the headline 'No intention to scald boy if he didn't show attitude, says mum'. Print Edition | Subscribe