Magistrate Saved My Life Says Single Mum After Lock Up Ordeal


 
Saroja Devi Krishnan receiving her certificate after completing an “Exemplary Mothers” course for which she was selected with seven others.PETALING JAYA: Single mother Saroja Devi Krishnan, 46, detained in a police lock-up although she had posted RM500 bail in a dog-bite case, says she would not have lasted another night in the cell.
Relating her ordeal, Saroja said the humiliation and trauma she went through became unbearable especially at night when she thought of her helpless children.
She said she was not a criminal and should not have been treated this way.
“I was crying away the whole time after I was placed with two others, including one who was a drug addict. I was humiliated by being handcuffed and dumped into the cell although my daughter had already posted bail. I did not eat anything and hardly slept.
“As it happened on a Friday, they said I can only be released on Monday. I told myself if I am not released the next day, I will end my life.
“The other inmates sympathised with me saying they were shocked I was there because of a dog bite case,” she told FMT.
She said she could not believe that she would have to spend three nights in the lock-up after having pleaded guilty last Friday to negligence resulting in a dog under her care attacking a 12-year-old neighbour.
She was fined RM2,000 but sentencing was postponed to Oct 25 by magistrate Adibah Kadir after she appealed for a lower fine.
Saroja Devi was handcuffed immediately and taken to the police station despite having settled the RM500 bail on time. She had to spend the night in the lock-up.
“It’s a terrible feeling when you realise that you are being held for no crime committed. I was wondering if the justice system in the country had failed. I kept praying to God to show the authorities that justice must prevail,” she said.
Saroja Devi said she could not control her emotions when recalling the time that she was among eight single mothers selected for a special course for having worked hard to bring up her children, single-handedly after she was divorced from her husband who had abused her.
“I belong to the women’s wing of a temple here where I cook and serve food for the poor. We go house-to-house helping the poor and needy. Everyone knows how I serve the community. So when I was humiliated by being handcuffed and paraded in front of the press to be photographed, it was too much to bear.”
The next morning she pleaded with a policeman who had come to take her cellmate to the court for a remand hearing, but she was told to keep quiet.
Shortly afterwards, a police officer asked me to follow him to the courthouse. “And when I saw magistrate Adibah, I broke down. She told the police to release me immediately with the necessary documents. I felt like falling on her feet to thank her. That is how much I feared going back into the cell.
“Puan Adibah saved my life. My children and I owe her a gratitude that we can never repay,” she said. - FMT


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