PUBLISHED: 05:18 EST, 4 August 2013 | UPDATED: 12:25 EST, 4 August 2013
Parents and relatives who suffocated a two-year-old child to death by lying on top of her for hours in an exorcism ritual have been spared jail and received only fines.
Amid chants in a darkened room, two-year-old Chua Wan Zuen was pinned down under a blanket by eight people – two of whom were not charged – in a bizarre attempt to crush out the evil spirits they said had consumed her.
The child was held down by the group for what doctors believed were several tortuous hours, but they told police they did not intend to kill her.
A Malaysian court sitting in northern Penang state, fined the parents, an uncle, an aunt and grandmother 10,000 ringgit (£2,000) each after they pleaded guilty to causing Chua’s death by negligence.
The child’s 21-year-old cousin was fined 5,000 ringgit while another cousin, aged 16, was released on probation.
When the seven family members had originally appeared in court they pleaded not guilty.
But as their trial proceeded they admitted they committed the offence at their home in the northern town of Bukit Mertajam.
An Indonesian maid, who police said had joined the seven others in the ritual, was not charged because she agreed to testify against the ethnic Chinese family.
The family members could have been sent to jail for up to 10 years – but if they fail to pay the fines they could still end up behind bars for up to seven months, The Star newspaper reported.
Forensic doctor Zahari Noorsaid told how the presence of blood in Chua’s respiratory system indicated she was still breathing when she was pinned down.
He said it was possible she was pressed down to the floor, as there were injuries on the right side of her face as well as on her hands legs, body, neck and lips.
Police revealed earlier that the family had carried out the exorcism ritual because they believed she was possessed by evil spirits.
When officers raided the house after receiving a distress call from a family member, they found eight people lying on top of the girl in a darkened bedroom, said district police chief Azman Abdul Lah.
She was face down under the human pile and chanting could be heard.
Belief in the supernatural is entrenched among Malaysia’s Malay, Chinese and ethnic communities, although occult rituals have waned in recent years.
In 2010 two Malay cousins were sentenced to 10 years in jail for killing the parents of one of them during a spiritual cleansing ritual.
They had killed the parents by trying to beat evil out of them by hitting them with brooms and motor cycle helmets.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2384341/Parents-relatives-suffocated-year-old-girl-hour-exorcism-let-fines-Malaysian-court.html#ixzz2bIHfsWsq
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First published:Wed, Aug 7, 2013, 01:00
The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital is one of 25 “appropriate institutions” named in the Act where abortions may be carried out to save the life of a pregnant woman.
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A Catholic voluntary hospital, part-owned by the Sisters of Mercy who founded it in 1861, the Mater is managed by the board of governors independent of the HSE.
In its mission statement, the hospital says that by caring for the sick, “we participate in the healing ministry of Jesus Christ”.
Fr Doran, who sits on the board of governors and the board of directors of the Mater, said it was “incumbent on the hospital to consider its position on the Act . . . The Mater can’t carry out abortions because it goes against its ethos. I would be very concerned that the Minister [for Health, James Reilly] sees fit to make it impossible for hospitals to have their own ethos.
“The issue is broader than just abortion. What’s happening is the Minister is saying hospitals are not entitled to have an ethos.”
Asked his view of what should happen if the board were to decide it would comply with the legislation, Fr Doran said: “I suppose I can assume there would be very serious discussion between the Archbishop [of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin] and the management of the hospital.”
Sr Eugene Nolan, nurse tutor and member of the board of directors, described the situation facing the hospital as “very, very grave”, adding the legislation “is being imposed on us.
“It is against our ethos. The main thing is we have an obligation to preserve the ethos of the hospital and still try and do the best we can. [The legislation] will have to be looked at very carefully.”
A spokesman for the hospital said it had no formal position as yet on the legislation. “It is going to be discussed by the board of governors in the coming weeks.”
The Mater hospital is a single-member company. Its parent company is the Mater Misericordiae and the Children’s University Hospitals (Temple St) Ltd.
Its website says the majority of the members of the parent company are Sisters of Mercy and the remaining members represent the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin, the Catholic Nurses’ Guild of Ireland, the Society of St Vincent de Paul and the medical consultants of Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and the Children’s University Hospital.
St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, is also a Catholic voluntary hospital, part- owned and part-managed by the Sisters of Charity. It is also named in the legislation as an “appropriate institution” to perform abortions.
Its mission, says the hospital website, is to provide care and treatment “through the continuance and furtherance of the ethos, aims and purposes of the Congregation of the Religious Sisters of Charity”.
A spokesman for St Vincent’s Healthcare Group said it would “as always, be following the law of the land”.
A Washington father of one who blew up the family dog because he believed it was possessed by the devil will not be charged with animal cruelty because, according to authorities, the dog didn’t suffer.
Skamania County deputies arrived at the Sevenson home of Christopher W. Dillingham early Sunday morning following multiple reports of a loud explosion.
Dog parts were found strewn across the 45-year-old’s yard.
Deputies say Dillingham, a fireworks stand owner with a lengthy criminal record, blew up a homemade explosive device attached to Cabella’s neck because he believed the yellow lab was evil.
Dillingham said his ex-girlfriend, who had given him the dog after her cousin could no longer care for it, “put the devil in it.”
He was also in the process of preparing for a nuclear “rapture” and had removed all the metal objects from his home because they were inhabited by “the souls of demons.”
Dillingham was ultimately booked on charges of reckless endangerment and possession of an explosive device, but not on animal cruelty charges.
Undersheriff Dave Cox explained that a cruelty charge requires proof of animal suffering, which was absent in this case, because the dog’s death “was instantaneous.”
Skamania County Prosecutor Adam Kick told KPTV it was possible animal cruelty charges will be added later “if the law allows.”
Dillingham remains behind bars in lieu of $500,000 bail.