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Man on trial for murder of girlfriend’s 9-month-old child; claims infant fell and hit his head

SINGAPORE — A few months after he started dating a woman he met on Instagram, Mohamed Aliff Mohamed Yusoff offered to take care of her nine-month-old son one evening.

Man on trial for murder of girlfriend’s 9-month-old child; claims infant fell and hit his head
Mohamed Aliff Mohamed Yusoff began standing trial in the High Court on a murder charge and could face the death penalty, or life imprisonment and caning, if convicted.
  • Mohamed Aliff Mohamed Yusoff, now 29, is contesting a murder charge in the High Court
  • He is accused of killing his then-girlfriend’s nine-month-old son at a Yishun car park in 2019
  • He had volunteered to take care of the boy as she was working the next day
  • Aliff's defence is that the boy accidentally fell from his grip and hit his head
  • Prosecutors argued that Aliff had inflicted traumatic head injuries on the boy's head that led to his death

SINGAPORE — A few months after he started dating a woman he met on Instagram, Mohamed Aliff Mohamed Yusoff offered to take care of her nine-month-old son one evening.

Things took a tragic turn hours later when after being alerted by Aliff, she went to them and found her child, Izz Fayyaz Zayani Ahmad, lying motionless at the back of Aliff’s van.

Aliff told her that the infant had struggled and fell out of Aliff’s arms, hit his head on the van floorboard and bounced before falling onto the floor of a multi-storey car park in Yishun.

When she agreed to tell others his version of events, they took the boy to the National University Hospital (NUH). He was pronounced dead in the wee hours of Nov 8, 2019 and Aliff was placed under arrest later that day.

On Tuesday (April 5), Aliff, now aged 29, began standing trial in the High Court on a murder charge. He appeared in a purple prison jumpsuit, having been remanded since the incident.

If convicted of murder under Section 300(c) of the Penal Code, the Singaporean could face the death penalty, or life imprisonment and caning.

Court documents showed that he allegedly caused Izz’s death sometime between 10pm and 12.15am on the night of Nov 7, 2019 at the multi-storey car park of Block 840A Yishun Street 81.

He was initially charged with voluntarily causing grievous hurt but the charge was upgraded shortly afterwards.

Aliff’s defence is that Izz’s death was an accident, but the prosecution's case is that he had deliberately inflicted blunt force trauma to the boy's head, causing traumatic head injuries that led to his demise.

The multi-storey car park (pictured) of Block 840A Yishun Street 81.

The court heard that Aliff and Izz’s mother, identified as Ms Nadiah Abdul Jalil, met through Instagram in 2017 or 2018 and became romantically involved around September 2019.

On the evening of the fatal incident, Aliff drove her and Izz to Wisteria Mall along Yishun Ring Road in a van they had bought for their delivery business.

They had dinner at a fast-food restaurant there where they had a disagreement over how Izz should be disciplined after he accidentally spilled his mother’s drink. Aliff took the boy away to clean him up while she continued with her meal.

The trio soon left the mall and on the way to her mother's flat in Chua Chu Kang, Aliff volunteered to take Izz to his own home in Yishun and take care of him there.

Ms Nadiah agreed to this because she had work the next day and her mother could not care for the child then.

When they got to her mother's flat, Ms Nadiah handed a bag with some essential baby items to Aliff. She then headed to her brother's flat in Jurong East where she planned to stay the night since it was nearer to her workplace.

SUGGESTED THEY PAY SOMEONE TO BURY CHILD

Aliff said that he then drove to Block 840A Yishun Street 81 and parked at the multi-storey car park there at about 10pm.

He sent a WhatsApp text message to his father, who told him it was not convenient to take the child home because other family members were home.

Aliff then purportedly left Izz at the back of the van and locked it while he went to a supermarket to buy paper towels, wet wipes and a drink. 

After he returned and opened the sliding door at the back of the van, he called Ms Nadiah several times. She did not pick up because she had fallen asleep.

When she returned his calls close to midnight, he asked to meet her. She later found him parked near Jurong East MRT Station and they drove off.

Aliff held her hand and repeatedly told her he did not want her to leave him. Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) Han Ming Kuang and Lim Shin Hui told the court that he also drove around aimlessly and said that he wanted to avoid roadblocks.

Ms Nadiah turned around in the front passenger seat at one point and found her child lying face-up at the back of the van. 

"The accused said Izz had passed away. When Nadiah carried Izz, she found that his neck was not flexible and his body temperature was cooler than usual. Izz was also unresponsive," the prosecutors said.

Aliff eventually agreed to take Izz to the hospital.

He told Ms Nadiah to tell others that he had been carrying baby items in one hand and carrying Izz with his other arm, while trying to close the van door. Izz then supposedly fidgeted, fell headfirst onto the van floorboard, bounced and hit his head on the footrest of the van, then fell onto the car park floor headfirst, he told her.

Aliff also said that he did not call for an ambulance because he had called Ms Nadiah.

The prosecutors told the court that Aliff further suggested they should pay someone to bury Izz and report him as missing a year later. Ms Nadiah refused and insisted that he should be given a proper burial.

Realising that the child had turned cold, the couple headed to NUH. Aliff cleaned himself up and brushed his teeth after parking the van there.

He also discarded one of his mobile phones in some bushes near the accident and emergency department before they headed there.

Ms Nadiah then fainted and Izz was handed over to medical personnel at 4.20am. He was pronounced dead 10 minutes later.

When police officers arrived at NUH and spoke to Aliff, he told them the same version of events he had told Ms Nadiah. He also claimed that they decided to take Izz to NUH after the boy lost consciousness, and that he had given cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to Izz before they got to the hospital.

Aliff was taken to Woodlands Police Division to help with investigations into the boy’s death, before being escorted to Police Cantonment Complex where was placed under arrest.

The prosecution said that they will call Ms Nadiah to the stand as a witness and she will testify that Aliff told her they should give the hospital a consistent version of events.

An autopsy found that Izz's cause of death was traumatic intracranial haemorrhage and that, along with other injuries, it was consistent with blunt force trauma being inflicted on the boy's head and face.

The forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy will also testify that a traumatic intracranial haemorrhage is enough in the ordinary course of nature to cause death.

An Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist found that Aliff was not of unsound mind at the time, and does not have any mental disorder or intellectual disability.

The trial continues for the rest of the week before Justice Mavis Chionh.

Aliff is represented by defence counsels Ramachandran Shiever Subranamium, Kanagavijayan Nadarajan and Stephen Wong.

Related topics

court crime murder baby yishun car park

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