Sunday, March 7

Baby boy in ICU after suspected abuse

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SIBU: A 17-month-old baby boy is believed to have been abused after traces of cerebral hemorrhage and bleeding in the eye were detected.

This was discovered by Sibu Hospital after the baby was referred there by Kanowit Hospital for a brain scan on Feb 18.

Kanowit police chief DSP Tega Bilong said the case is being investigated under Section 31(1)(a) of the Children’s Act 2001, but that no arrests have been made pending confirmation from Sibu Hospital that the injuries were caused by abuse.

“An examination showed cerebral hemorrhaging and bleeding in the eye resulting from shaking or abuse.

The inside of the family’s dilapidated house.

“No other signs of injury were found on the baby’s hands, feet or body,” he said in a statement yesterday, adding the baby was being treated in the Children’s Intensive Care Unit in Sibu Hospital and had undergone brain surgery.

Tega said the hospital had lodged a police report after the examination found serious bleeding in the eye and cerebral hemorrhaging that was inconsistent with the baby’s mother’s statement.

The 28-year-old mother had stated that her baby was found unconscious after a suspected fall from climbing a window at home, while she and her husband were out buying necessities at the market.

The parents then rushed their child on a motorcycle to Kanowit Hospital for treatment, he said.

He added that police had also interviewed the victim’s grandfather who told them that he had gone out to buy chicken while the victim’s grandmother was at home.

The grandfather said he was outside the house when he heard something falling and immediately went inside where he found the baby in a semi-conscious state.

The grandmother was said to have put the baby on her lap while waiting for help to arrive.

It is learnt that the family’s house has no electricity or water supply.

“The house is in a dilapidated state where the floor is uneven. There are seven people living in the house and the victim’s mother has two children from a previous marriage.

“The victim’s mother has been remarried for three years and both husband and wife do not have fixed jobs,” Tega said.