A 34-year-old divorcee mother pleaded guilty today (Mar 28) for assaulting her son leading to his death. Noraidah Mohd Yussof, 34, pleaded guilty to two counts each of causing grievous hurt and ill-treating a child.

On 1 August 2014, Noraidah brought her son, Mohammad Airyl Amirul Haziq Mohamed Ariff, 4, home in Eunos Crescent. After lunch, Noraidah asked her son to recite from 11 to 18 in Malay which he failed to. The divorcee mother started shouting at him and at around 4.30pm, she asked him to recite again. The woman became enraged when he failed again, and she pushed him to the floor. The 4-year-old boy got up and failed to recite the numbers again, and the mother start stepping on her son. Moments later, Noraidah told her son to follow her to fetch her daughter and she asked him to recite the numbers again. The son failed to recite the numbers and this time she choked him and pushed him against a wall until he stopped breathing. The boy was admitted to the hospital thereafter but Noraidah lied that he had a fall in the toilet. Airyl succumbed to his injuries and died four days later.

The court heard that the child abuse started in 2012 and tragically ended in the fatal assault in 2014. The original charge by the police was initially murder when the child died, but they later revised it to causing grievous hurt. A murder warrants a death penalty while a grievous hurt charge carries only a maximum 10 years’ jail sentence.