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Stepmother’s 10-year jail term for causing girl’s death upheld

Marie Nammour/Senior Reporter / 24 November 2014

The defendant was found guilty by the Court of First Instance in July of physically assaulting her husband’s daughter and unintentionally causing her death.

The Dubai Court of Appeals has upheld the ten-year imprisonment of a 24-year-old Jordanian housewife for physically assaulting her four-year-old stepdaughter and causing her injuries that led to her death.

The woman denied the charge during the trial.

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The defendant was found guilty by the Court of First Instance in July of physically assaulting her husband’s daughter and unintentionally causing her death.

The appellate court’s also confirmed the deportation order against her.

During investigation, the accused claimed that the doctor at the hospital, where she took her stepdaughter to on January 30, might have caused her death by pushing hard on her chest. The forensic doctor, said, however, that such a procedure, meant at reviving the girl, could not be a cause of her multiple injuries.

The victim’s biological mother, a Jordanian nurse, 36, refused to believe that her daughter died due to head injuries she sustained after she fell from her bicycle. On seeing injury marks on her daughter’s body, the mother immediately accused the stepmother of assaulting her. “I knew that she constantly beat up my daughters, especially my youngest one (the victim).”

The victim’s 10-year-old sister said her stepmother put the victim on a bicycle which was broken and not fit for riding. “She did not hold her as she rode and she (the victim) fell on her back.”

The family’s neighbour, a dentist, said that he saw marks on the victim’s body which could not have resulted from her fall from the bicycle. “Her face had turned yellow and her lips blue. Her body became very cold and she lost consciousness,” the neighbour said.

An Ethiopian maid said that the housewife would treat her stepdaughters badly if their father was not around. “On the incident day, she took the victim to the bathroom for a shower and I heard the girl crying a lot and screaming loud.”

Another Ethiopian maid said that the housewife would ill-treat the children and was cruel to them and would beat them up for the silliest reasons.

A forensic expert said that the cause of death was multiple injuries to the girl’s abdomen and back that led to internal bleeding. The girl’s head injury, which later caused a brain swelling and severe bleeding, was also a quick cause of her death. The expert ruled out that her death was accidental from her fall. The verdict may be appealed within 30 days at the Court of Cassation.-mary@khaleejtimes.com

khaleejtimes.com

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