BUKIT MERTAJAM: A 14-year-old girl and her boyfriend have been jointly charged at the Magistrate’s Court here with kidnapping a nine-month-old baby girl.

The teenage girl and Muhammad Azrin Budimaeng, 18, a part-time restaurant worker, claimed trial when the charge was read to them before Magistrate Nurul Rasyidah Mohd Akit.

Both the accused appeared calm throughout the proceedings.

They were jointly charged with holding the baby by means of wrongfully running away with her at Pangsapuri Idaman in Taman Pauh Prai near here about 5.30pm on Aug 23.

They were charged under Section 363 of the Penal Code for kidnapping.

The offence carries a maximum seven years’ imprisonment and possible fine, upon conviction.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohammad Syafiq Nasrullah Saleem Ali did not offer bail, pointing out that it was a non-bailable offence.

He also did not offer bail due to the seriousness of the offence.

“However, as an alternative, if the court decides to grant both the accused bail, I request a high bail with strict conditions,” Mohammad Syafiq said.

Fatin Nabila Hussin, who represented both the accused, said the court had the discretion to grant them bail.

“In this case, the first accused is just a 14-year-old teenager, underage and young.

“She is the youngest among three siblings and has been staying with her 75-year-old grandfather and 68-year-old grandmother after her parents divorced.

“I was told her parents had not been in touch with their children after the divorce.

“This is her first offence and as far as I am concerned, my client is a law-abiding citizen,” she said.

As for Muhammad Azrin, Fatin Nabila said he too was young and had never committed any offence prior to this.

She said her client was the second among five siblings and had to help supplement the family’s income by working part time in a restaurant to help his two younger siblings, aged 10 and 11.

“His mother is sick and his father does not have a full-time job. He is working two days a week, earning RM50 a day.

“He is also a good child and has never committed any offence before,” Fatin Nabila said, urging the court to grant both accused bail, as they needed the support and guidance of their families.

Nurul Rasyidah then fixed Oct 3 for mention of the case pending submission of documents.

She granted both accused RM5,000 bail each with one surety.

She said for the first accused (the teenage girl), her bailor needed to be her next of kin, either one of her parents.

Last Thursday, five people, including a 14-year-old girl, were detained to assist investigations into the kidnapping of a nine-month-old baby girl at an apartment in Bukit Tengah here last Tuesday.

Detained along with the teenage school dropout was her 18-year-old boyfriend, as well as his mother, 43, stepfather, 30, and a male friend, 18.