SEREMBAN, Feb 13 — A babysitter entered a plea of not guilty at the Sessions Court here today, to a charge of physically abusing an 11-month-old baby girl in a manner likely to cause her injury last week.

The plea was recorded from the accused, Norsham Ismail, 66, after the charge was read out to her before Judge Meor Sulaiman Ahmad Tarmizi.

Norsham is accused of allegedly abusing the baby by slapping her face between 7.47am and 7.59am at a daycare centre in Nilai on February 5.

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The charge was framed under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act 2001 which is punishable by a fine not exceeding RM20,000 or imprisonment of up to 10 years or both, upon conviction.

Deputy public prosecutor Syamimi Farhana Muhammad A. Aziz appeared for the prosecution, while the accused, who has been working at the centre for more than 10 years, was represented by lawyer A. Partheeban from the National Legal Aid Foundation.

Earlier in the proceedings, Partheeban requested a reduced bail for his client, citing her status as a widow with no children.

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He added that her guarantor is her younger brother, employed as a technician with a monthly salary of only RM1,800.

The court then set bail at RM7,000 with one surety and scheduled case mention for March 13. — Bernama