SINGAPORE - A 29-year-old man who left his girlfriend's nine-month-old baby in the back of his van was accused by prosecutors of causing traumatic head injuries to the infant, as they opened their case against him for murder on Tuesday (April 5).
Mohamed Aliff Mohamed Yusoff is charged with murdering Izz Fayyaz Zayani Ahmad some time between 10pm on Nov 7, 2019 and 12.15am on Nov 8, 2019 at a multi-storey carpark in Yishun Street 81.
If convicted, he faces the death penalty or life imprisonment and caning.
The High Court heard that Aliff and his then-girlfriend Nadiah Abdul Jalil, who had Izz from her previous marriage, began a relationship in September or October 2019.
On Nov 7, 2019, they bought a van, together with her elder brother, for their delivery business.
That night, Aliff, who lived in Yishun, offered to take care of Izz.
Ms Nadiah handed him a bag with essential items for the baby boy and went to her brother's flat in Jurong East to stay the night as her workplace was nearby.
Surveillance footage showed Aliff entering the carpark at about 10pm.
At about 11pm, he left the baby alone in the locked van, walked to a nearby Sheng Siong supermarket to buy paper towels, wet wipes and an energy drink, then returned to the van.
His version of events is that the baby fell from his arm head first onto the floorboard of the van, bounced, hit his head again on the footrest of the van, before finally falling onto the carpark floor.
He called Ms Nadiah several times before she finally returned his call close to midnight.
Deputy Public Prosecutors Han Ming Kuang and Lim Shin Hui said in their opening address that Aliff behaved "strangely" after leaving the carpark at 12.15am to meet Ms Nadiah in Jurong East.
Aliff held Ms Nadiah's hand and kept repeating that he did not want her to leave him; he also drove around aimlessly and said he wanted to avoid road blocks, said the prosecution.
At one point, Ms Nadiah turned back and saw Izz on the floor at the rear of the van.
"She was shocked as she thought Izz was at the accused's parent's flat in Yishun all along," said the prosecution.
When she found the baby unresponsive and cooler than usual, she wanted to take the child to the hospital but Aliff kept driving, said the prosecutors.
He told her that Izz fell off his arm as he tried to close the van cabin door.
"The accused also suggested they should pay someone to bury Izz and report him as missing a year later. Nadiah refused and insisted that Izz should be given a proper burial," said the prosecutors.
The prosecution said Ms Nadiah will testify that Aliff told her they should give the hospital a consistent version of events - that Izz hurt himself when he fell from the accused's arm about 1am and that Aliff performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the baby.
When the couple arrived at the National University Hospital, Aliff took his time to park the van, clean himself up, brush his teeth and plan where to throw away one of his mobile phones.
Aliff eventually threw the phone into the bushes outside before proceeding to the accident and emergency department.
The court heard that Izz was pronounced dead at 4.30am on Nov 8, 2019.
Senior consultant forensic pathologist Gilbert Lau, who performed the autopsy, concluded that the baby died from bleeding in the brain as a result of traumatic injury.
Aliff, who is defended by Mr Kanagavijayan Nadarajan, was originally charged with voluntarily causing grievous hurt but the charge was later upgraded to murder.
The trial continues.