A 28-year-old Singaporean man, Muhammad Salihin Ismail, is currently on trial for allegedly killing his four-year-old stepdaughter, Nursabrina Agustiani Abdullah, in 2018.
The trial was adjourned on Feb. 2 and will continue on Feb. 3, according to The Straits Times.
If convicted of murder, Salihin can face the death penalty or life imprisonment.
Punched her stomach after she urinated outside the toilet
According to court documents seen by Mothership, Salihin is accused of causing fatal injury to Sabrina some time between 9am on Sep. 1, 2018, and 9:40am on Sep. 2, 2018.
It occurred in a flat in Bukit Batok, ST reported.
In September 2018, Salihin and his wife, Sabrina's biological mother, were trying to toilet-train Sabrina in preparation for school.
On Sep. 1, 2018, when Sabrina's mother was out for work, Salihin found a puddle of urine on the floor just outside the toilet of the flat.
He soon realised that Sabrina had urinated there.
He became angry. He subsequently called Sabrina over and placed her on the toilet bowl.
While Sabrina was seated on the toilet bowl, Salihin hit her in the stomach a few times with his fist.
Pushed her and kicked her stomach
Later in the afternoon, Sabrina indicated that she wanted to go to the toilet.
Salihin asked her to go to the toilet to urinate on her own.
After Sabrina came out of the toilet, Salihin went inside and saw that Sabrina had urinated on the floor in front of the toilet bowl.
He became angry and called Sabrina over to question her.
He then pushed her on the shoulder, causing her to fall sideways on the ground.
While Sabrina was lying on the ground, Salihin forcefully kicked her stomach at least twice, according to court documents. Sabrina started crying.
Salihin then picked up Sabrina and placed her on the toilet bowl before hitting her in the stomach a few times with his fist.
He then left Sabrina alone in the toilet. She only came out about five to 10 minutes later.
Couldn't stop vomitting
During dinner that same day, Sabrina complained that her stomach was painful and vomited on the sofa shortly after.
Salihin and his wife tried to medicate her with some ointment.
Between 1am to 8am on Sep. 2, 2018, Sabrina continued to vomit periodically.
When Salihin brought her to the toilet to vomit, he noticed that she had difficulty vomiting.
He used his index finger to ease her vomit.
Sabrina vomited and become unconscious.
Salihin attempted to resuscitate her, but was unsuccessful.
He then carried Sabrina out of the toilet and told his wife to call for an ambulance.
When paramedics arrived, they checked Sabrina's breathing and pulse rate and observed that there was none.
They also applied the Automated External Defibrillator on Sabrina’s body.
However, there was no reading of any life and Sabrina's asystole line was flat.
Sabrina was subsequently conveyed to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.
On examination, Sabrina was not breathing and there was no heartbeat.
After resuscitation efforts failed, she was pronounced dead at 10:12am on Sep. 2, 2018.
The next day, Salihin was arrested following initial investigations.
Facing two other non-capital charges
Salihin is also facing two other non-capital charges, according to court documents.
The first is of voluntarily causing hurt to Sabrina between July and October 2017.
He had intentionally scalded Sabrina with hot water while bathing her.
The second charge is of ill-treatment of a child under the Children and Young Persons Act.
Salihin allegedly slammed Sabrina's head on the floor sometime between January and April 2018.
Current trial is only related to murder charge
Salihin's current trial, however, only concerns his capital murder charge as the defence lawyers objected to him having a joint trial.
According to ST, defence lawyer Syazana Yahya argued that from the three alleged incidents, it cannot be said that there was an escalating pattern of violence.
She also argued that Salihin would be prejudiced by having to defend himself against the non-capital charges as well as the murder charge.
Does not suffer from any mental disorder/illness
Psychiatric evaluation revealed that the accused does not suffer from any mental disorder/illness, as stated in court documents.
The doctor who evaluated him also assessed that Salihin was aware of the nature and wrongfulness of his actions.
He would have been able to potentially rein in his emotions, but elected instead to give in to his anger.
Top image by Matthias Ang.