M'sian child killer paid to leave UK
Thu, Nov 19, 2009
The New Paper

SHE was convicted of killing a 17-month-old boy by grabbing his ankles and smashing his head against the wall.

It was to be a five-year jail term for the crime she committed in Britain, but after two years in a jail there, Agnes Wong was given £4,500 (S$10,500) and told to return to Malaysia.

This decision has sparked disbelief and outrage among the public, said several reports in Britain and Malaysia.

Wong, 29, is now planning to buy a house and start a small business with the money given as part of a "Facilitated Return Scheme" deal, said Malay Mail.

Under the scheme, foreign prisoners are paid up to £5,000 (S$11602.50) if they agree to leave the UK as early as possible without fighting their deportation using human rights laws or by claiming asylum.

Under British law, any immigrant who commits a serious crime can forfeit their right to remain in Britain and can be deported.

Smashed baby's head

Wong was jailed for five years in May 2008 for the brutal manslaughter of the child, Hugo Wang, whom she was babysitting.

She was jailed after a court heard how she had swung the boy by his ankles and smashed his head.

He had been struck with such force that his brain had shifted in his skull and caused internal bleeding. Doctors also found bite and burn marks on his body.

At the time of her release this month, Wong had served the minimum jail term of two-and-half years, including her time in custody before and during the trial.

Wong, who was an illegal child minder for a Chinese couple in Manchester, was paid £120 (S$278.46) a week, was warned not to work as a carer when she returned home.

British authorities have also informed the relevant Malaysian agencies to monitor Wong's activities and to assist her with her rehabilitation process.

It is learnt that Wong arrived in Kuala Lumpur on 2 Nov with a "voucher" and a letter from British Immigration officers confirming that she was entitled to a "reintegration fund" payout of up to £4,500 (S$10442.25).

The letter informed her that the money, provided by UK taxpayers but administered by an international migration organisation, could be "invested" in training for a new job, housing, education, medical treatment or to help setup a small business.

Illegal worker

The letter - seen by The Mail on Sunday - also advised Wong on how to claim the money.

This was when she told the Immigration officers about her plans when she returned home.

On arrival in Kuala Lumpur, Wong was believed to have contacted her ex-boyfriend in England, Mr Lin Jian, 38, a Chinese national, to inform him that she was staying in a budget hotel in the city.

British media learnt of this from Mr Lin who also disclosed that Wong would be heading to Ipoh where she plans to settle down.

Further reports reveal that Wong, whose name in the passport is Wong Siew Teng, had entered Britain illegally in 2003.

The boy's father and mother, worked at a Chinese restaurant in Southport. His mother saw him once a week.

Despite the public outrage, Mr David Wood, the UK Border Agency's director of criminality and detention, defended the scheme.

In a reply to The Mail on Sunday, he said: "We don't want foreign criminals in the UK.

"Every day that we can get these individuals out of the country early removes the risk they present to UK citizens and saves our taxpayers more than £100 a night (S$232.50) in detention costs as well as administrative and court costs."

But not all agree with the terms and conditions entailed in such laws.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the Migration watch think-tank, said: "It is absolutely wrong in principle that criminals who thoroughly deserve to be deported should be paid for going."

This article was first published in The New Paper.


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