Four-year-old Mohammad Airyl Amirul Haziq Mohamed Ariff had suffered at the hands of his mother since he was two, a court heard on Monday (Mar 28). He died on Aug 5, 2014 after his family decided to take the boy off life support following a particularly violent beating by his mother, 34-year-old Noraidah Mohd Yussof, days earlier.
Noraidah pleaded guilty on Monday to two counts each of causing grievous hurt and ill-treating a child. Another two counts of ill-treatment will be taken into consideration during sentencing.
The High Court heard that Noraidah flew into a rage when the four-year-old could not recite the numbers 11 to 18 in English and Malay. She pushed the boy’s chest, causing him to fall backwards and hit his head on the floor.
Airyl picked himself up and tried to recite the numbers again. When he made a mistake, Noraidah became angrier and pushed her son’s chest again, causing him to hit his head on the floor a second time. She then stomped on the boy’s knees.
A while later, Noraidah told the boy to get ready to leave the house, as they were going to pick his 7-year-old sister up from school. But Airyl was still preoccupied with reciting the numbers correctly, which frustrated his mother. She grabbed him by the neck and pushed him onto the floor, the court was told.
MOTHER HELD SON UP BY HIS NECK, CHOKING HIM
Irked that the four-year-old had not changed his clothes to leave the house, Noraidah grabbed the boy’s neck, lifting him off the ground and holding him up against the wall. When she let go, Airyl fell to the floor, motionless and unresponsive.
Noraidah sought the help of her 14-year-old neighbour and 38-year-old sister-in-law, who observed Airyl’s mouth was “filled with foam”. She lied that the boy had fallen while using the toilet and hit his head.
Airyl was eventually taken to hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery to remove part of the skullcap to accommodate swelling of the brain. A brain scan also revealed a blood clot in his brain.
An autopsy revealed the extent of the prolonged abuse, concluding that the boy died due to head injuries, including skull fractures and bleeding of the brain, caused by blunt force trauma. A multitude of “old injuries” was also found on the boy’s battered body, including more than 30 bruises on his head, neck, chest and back.
Noraidah was first charged with causing grievous hurt to her son, but when he died, the charge was upgraded to murder. However, it has since been restored to the original charge.
MOTHER ADMITTED TO ABUSING SON ON OTHER OCCASIONS
In March 2012, Airyl was placed under the care of his uncle by the Ministry of Social and Family Development for “suspected non-accidental injuries”.
Noraidah admitted on Monday that she became annoyed with her son when she tried to teach him the alphabet when he was just two years old. She pushed him onto the floor and stomped on his ribs, and twisted his arm violently, the court heard.
She took him to hospital days later, where the toddler was found to have sustained six fractures to his ribs, elbow and calf. Noraidah lied to doctors, telling them the boy had injured himself in a fall.
In July 2014, when Airyl failed to recite a series of numbers to Noraidah’s satisfaction, she pushed the boy, causing him to fall backwards and hit his head against a piece of furniture. Later that day, when the toddler urinated on the floor, Noraidah kicked his body and stomped on the boy’s stomach.
Noraidah is expected to be sentenced at a later date, after a further hearing to resolve differing opinions between psychiatrists on her mental state.