Court told Bella was 15-years-old in 2020

21 Jul 2022 05:39pm
Bella. Photo: BERNAMA
Bella. Photo: BERNAMA
KUALA LUMPUR - The Sessions Court here was told today that the age of the teenage girl with down syndrome, known as Bella, was 15 when she went for the bone age x-ray examination in 2020.

The Medical Officer at the Radiology Department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Dr B. Anulaawathi, 39, said the girl’s age was found to be 15 after analysis was made through three aspects, namely chronological age, brush foundation data and based on a reference book, known as the Radiographic Atlas Skeletal Development of the Hand and Wrist Book, by Greulich and Pyle.

The 13th prosecution witness, who was previously with the Radiology Department at the Tunku Azizah Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, said the report on the x-ray was completed on Aug 3, 2020, following an application by the Paediatric Department on July 23, 2020.

"When compared with the x-ray reference image for a 13-year-old, we found that it is still not the same as the x-ray scan of Bella's bones...Bella is older than the reference photo age of a 13 years and six months person.

"We continued to look at the reference picture for the age of 15 and we found that the picture is similar with Bella's x-ray, whereby the bone growth plate in the wrist is still visible," he said.

He said this at the trial of Rumah Bonda founder Siti Bainun Ahd Razali beforeJudge Izralizam Sanusi.

Questioned by deputy public prosecutor Nor Azizah Mohamad during examination-in-chief whether the reference book was used as a standard operating procedure (SOP) for bone age analysis in hospitals nationwide, the witness answered yes.

According to Dr Anulaawathi, the reference book contains a series of x-rays as a reference for the gender and age of an individual from birth to 18 years-old.

To another question from the prosecution on whether he had met Bella or any of the paediatric team while doing the bone age analysis, he said no as there was no need to do so as all the information was already in the system.
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When questioned by lawyer Nur A’minahtul Mardiah Md Nor, representing Siti Bainun, the witness agreed with the lawyer that his role was only to prepare a report after receiving instructions from the paediatric team.

Siti Bainun, 30, is facing two charges with neglecting and abusing the girl, causing the victim to suffer physical and emotional injuries.

She is charged with committing the offence at a condominium in Wangsa Maju here between February and June 2021.

The charge, under Section 31 (1) (a) of the Child Act 2001, carries an imprisonment for up to 20 years or a maximum fine of RM50,000 or both, if convicted.

The trial continues this afternoon. - BERNAMA