PETALING JAYA: A Singaporean has been sentenced to life imprisonment on Tuesday (April 2) for killing his stepdaughter in 2018 due to a potty training accident.

the Straits Times reported that Muhammad Salihin Ismail, 31, was also sentenced by the apex court to be caned 12 times for the murder of four-year-old Nursabrina Agustiani Abdullah.

Salihin was previously acquitted in March 2022, convicted of a lesser charge, according to another report by the Straits Times.

He was found in court, quoting from the report, that despite having kicked his stepchild intentionally, he did not intend to “strike the part of the body that was fatally injured.”

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The High Court judge was also quoted saying that Salihin “was not aiming at any particular part of the victim’s body.”

However, another report by the Straits Times said he was sentenced to nine years in jail and 12 strokes of the cane in May 2022 for voluntarily causing grievous hurt.

The court took into consideration two other abusive instances against the child in 2017 and 2018.

Salihin was initially tried in court on Feb 2 2021, according to the Straits Times after he was accused of causing fatal bodily injuries to Nursabrina on Sept 1 and Sept 2 2018 at their rented residence in Bukit Batok.

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He said that he and his wife were trying to potty train her as she was going to kindergarten soon.

On Sept 1, Salihin was furious upon discovering a puddle of urine outside the toilet in the morning. His wife was at work at the time.

He then punched the four-year-old’s stomach after placing her on the toilet bowl. On the same day, Nursabrina went to the toilet per his instructions in the afternoon.

However, he found another urine puddle near the toilet bowl. He then pushed her to the ground, kicked her stomach a few times, and picked her up to hit her in the stomach again.

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Nursabrina later complained of having stomach aches in the evening and vomitted the whole night. She was unconscious the next morning after Salihin tried to ease her vomit.

Salihin’s wife called an ambulance. When paramedics arrived at around 9.30am, they found that the child had no pulse. She was pronounced dead at 10.12am after resuscitation efforts failed.

Salihin was arrested after hospital officials reported her death to the police. According to the autopsy findings, the four-year-old died from internal bleeding.

Salihin married his wife, Syabilla Syamien Riyadi in 2016 when Nursabrina was only two-years-old.

The Singapore High Court also found that he was released from the Singapore Armed Forces detention barracks in February 2017.

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