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Man moved in with half-sister before Malaysia's Movement Control Order and assaulted her, gets jail

Man moved in with half-sister before Malaysia's Movement Control Order and assaulted her, gets jail

Photo illustration of abuse. (File photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

SINGAPORE: A Singaporean man living in Johor Bahru was sentenced to jail for assaulting his half-sister after he moved in to live with her in Singapore before Malaysia's Movement Control Order started.

The 65-year-old victim, who suffers from schizophrenia, was found covered with bruises on all limbs, and had swollen and blackened eyes after her half-brother punched her and hit her with a leather belt.

Zulkefly Yusof, 56, was sentenced to eight months' jail on Tuesday (Jun 23).

He pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt to a vulnerable person. Another charge was taken into consideration for sentencing.

The court heard that Zulkefly, who is unemployed, came to Singapore on Mar 16 before the Movement Control Order took effect in Malaysia. He stayed in the flat with his father and half-sister, 65-year-old Mariam Yusof.

Ms Mariam had moved in to take care of their father, who had suffered a fall.

Ms Mariam suffers from schizophrenia and has been receiving treatment since the early 1990s.

THE ASSAULT BEGAN THE DAY HE MOVED IN

From the day he moved in, Zulkefly would scold and assault Ms Mariam whenever she made a small mistake or when he felt angry, the court heard.

Between Mar 16 and Mar 26, he kicked Ms Mariam's legs and punched her on the face, body and arms. 

On at least one occasion, he punched her while wearing nine rings - made of metal and gemstones - on his fingers.

He also hit Ms Mariam on her back and waist using a leather belt with a metal buckle on Mar 26, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Phoebe Leau.

Ms Mariam did not complain or retaliate against her half-brother, even though the abuse left her with multiple large bruises on her arms and legs, as well as swollen and blackened eyes.

On Mar 26, Ms Mariam's elder sister Fatimah Yusof visited the flat and called the police, asking them to "come quick". During the phone call, Zulkefly was heard shouting in Malay: "Where is my drink" and "I am a gangster".

Police officers arrived at the flat and called for an ambulance after seeing Ms Mariam's injuries. She was taken to a hospital with bleeding on her scalp, multiple bruises on all limbs as well as on her upper back, jaw and face.

The doctor said the injuries were likely caused by blunt trauma or assault. Ms Mariam was hospitalised for nine days and referred to Adult Protection Services.

After her discharge, she moved in with Ms Fatimah and applied for a personal protection order against Zulkefly. 

She was later assessed to be a vulnerable adult who lacks protective ability to ensure her personal safety and that she was at high risk if she continued to stay in the flat with Zulkefly.

READ: Penal Code changes to protect vulnerable victims, minors to kick in on Jan 1, 2020

PUNCHES WERE ON VULNERABLE PARTS OF BODY: PROSECUTOR

The prosecutor asked for at least eight months' jail, pointing out that Zulkefly punched the victim's head and eyes, which are vulnerable parts of the body.

He also used objects such as rings and a leather belt when assaulting his half-sister and the assault continued over 10 days.

"The extensiveness of the victim's bruising clearly shows that they were not the product of an isolated, one-off incident," said Ms Leau. 

"In addition, the assault took place while the accused had been allowed to live in the flat on the goodwill of the victim and his father."

The attacks were also unprovoked, and Zulkefly demonstrated "no concern whatsoever" despite the visible injuries on his half-sister, said Ms Leau.

Zulkefly, who was remanded and did not have a lawyer, asked for leniency and a lighter sentence.

"Some of the accidents (that) happened to Mariam my sister, some I remember and some I do not remember," he said. "I plead guilty for what (happened) to her and I promise to myself it will not be repeated again, this offence."

The penalties for voluntarily causing hurt are a maximum three years' jail, a fine of up to S$5,000, or both.

Under amendments to the Penal Code, the maximum punishment for offences against a vulnerable person, including those with mental disabilities, have been doubled beginning this year.

Source: CNA/ll(ta)

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