PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court upheld the death sentence imposed on a former barber for the murder of an 11-month-old baby girl known as ‘Zara’ who suffered serious vaginal injuries due to sexual assault, six years ago.

In a unanimous decision reached by a panel of three judges led by Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang, the court dismissed the final appeal by Hazmi Majid, 42, to set aside his conviction and sentence.

“The conviction and (death) sentence is safe. This court upholds the sentence as decided by the Court of Appeal and the High Court,” said Judge Rhodzariah, sitting with Datuk Abu Bakar Jais and Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera.

Earlier, lawyer T. Vijayandran, representing Hazmi, submitted that his client was unaware of his action as he was under the influence of drugs and requested the death sentence to be set aside and replaced with a 30-year imprisonment.

However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tetralina Ahmed Fauzi said the plea of being under the influence of drugs should dismissed as Hazmi attempted to dispose of evidence by washing a towel to remove blood, showing that he was conscious when the incident happened.

According to Tetralina, the case meets the requirement of “the rarest of rare cases’ which justifies the death penalty being upheld.

“The victim was sent by her mother to the babysitter’s house at 6.45am on the day of the incident and the child died at 1.30pm. She only weighs 8.26kg, her teeth have not yet grown and the severe haemorrhaging of the brain means that her chances of survival are slim,” she said.

Based on the prosecution evidence, the appellant never offered to help his wife, who was the child’s babysitter, but on that day he volunteered to bathe the victim.

Hazmi was found guilty of killing and causing the death of Nur Muazara Ulfa Mohammad Zainal or Zara, in a unit at Pangsapuri Sri Cempaka, Bandar Baru Bangi, between 10.30am and 1.30pm on Nov 7, 2018.

The man was charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code which provides for the death penalty, upon conviction.

In March last year, the Court of Appeal upheld the death sentence handed down on Hazmi by the Shah Alam High Court on Aug 20, 2021.

In 2019, Hazmi was also sentenced to 13 years in prison and 12 strokes of the cane by the Shah Alam High Court on two counts of sexually abusing the child. He had pleaded guilty to inserting his finger into the 11-month-old infant’s private parts.

The media had reported that the infant died two days after being in critical condition at Serdang Hospital, Selangor, believed to be due to physical and sexual abuse by her babysitter’s husband.- Bernama