The maternal aunt of a six-year-old boy was sentenced to 16 months’ jail yesterday after she pleaded guilty to physically abusing her nephew.
The 32-year-old woman is a housewife and the victim’s mother is the defendant’s younger sister, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Raihan Nabilah binti Haji Ahmad Ghazali.
The defendant’s name has been withheld to protect the victim’s identity.
The victim and his mother, who suffered from severe intellectual impairment, lives with the defendant and her husband.
The couple has been taking care of the victim and his mother, including the victim’s educational provisions.
The Women and Children Abuse Investigation Unit from the Royal Brunei Police Force uncovered that the incident happened around noon on August 14, 2022.
The defendant confronted the victim after discovering that he had been assigned homework and instructed the victim to read it.
The victim reacted by throwing a tantrum, tossing aside a plastic chair as well as throwing the book away.
This angered the defendant, who started beating the victim repeatedly across his back, buttocks and arms with a belt, a caning stick and a broomstick.
The following day, the victim’s teacher discovered bruises on his body and immediately filed a police report.
Intermediate Court Judge Pengiran Hajah Norismayanti binti Pengiran Haji Ismail said that despite finding the case to be a one-off incident, the use of objects adds to the severity of the beatings, reflected from the bruises.
The judge found the defendant to be unremorseful and was unfazed when shown the photos of the bruises. “This is a concerning behaviour or demeanour of an aunt and parent in her position,” the judge said.