Criminal Court imprisons murdered child’s mother for six months over negligence

A woman arrested in connection with the alleged sexual abuse and murder of her eight-month old child has been sentenced to six months imprisonment by the Criminal Court after being found guilty of  negligence.

The woman, who was identified as Noorzaadha Ali, of Addu Atoll Hithadhoo, was not herself charged with murdering or sexually abusing the child, although the court ruled that she was in violation of elements of the Penal Code.

According to local media, the presiding judge said that the suspect had not vaccinated the baby or taken proper care to clean the child and failed to explain internal and external injuries to the victim.

On the basis of these findings, the judge declared that Nooruzaadha had neglected her duties as a mother.

Her boyfriend, Mohamed Waheed, stands accused of murdering the child, though the outcome of that trial has not yet been concluded.

The eight-month-old baby boy died in the intensive care unit of Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) back in June 2009.

Three suspects were arrested in connection with allegations that he had been physically and sexuallly abused.  These suspects included the victim’s mother, Nooruzaadha, 28[then], from Addu atoll Hithadhoo, her boyfriend Mohamed Waheed, 46[then], from Male’, and a third man whose identity has not yet been revealed.

Addressing media at the time, Inspector Hamdhoon Rasheed, head of the police investigation unit, said initial test results revealed the baby had extensive injuries, as well as showing signs of having been sexually abused.

Rasheed said that the boy had suffered head and neck injuries, and was covered in scratches. The hospital reported the case to police after Waheed took the baby in for medical care.

Nooruzaadha had a long history of criminal activity, according to both police and the prosecutor general’s office.

She was arrested twice in 2002, once for sexual misconduct and the second time for prostitution, said Deputy Prosecutor General Hussein Shameem.

She was sentenced to eight months house arrest for the first offence, which she breached, and six months imprisonment for the second.

The same year, she was put under house arrest for disobedience of order, which she violated and was fined Rf150 (US$12). In 2006, she was arrested on the same charge and was ordered to spend two months in jail.

In 2004, Nooruzaadha was handed a six-year sentence for possession of drugs and in 2005 and 2007, she was given two 12-year sentences on each occasion for drug possession.