Balinese woman sentenced 4.5 years for killing her own three children

The three children of Balinese woman Ni Luh Putu Septyan Parmadani. Photo via Nusa Bali
The three children of Balinese woman Ni Luh Putu Septyan Parmadani. Photo via Nusa Bali

A Balinese woman has been sentenced by Gianyar District Court to just four and a half years prison for a rare, horrifying case of filicide.

Ni Luh Putu Septyan Parmadani made headlines in Bali earlier this year for allegedly killing her own three biological children before attempting—and failing—to take her own life.

The guilty verdict for Septyan, 33, was read out on Tuesday by a panel of judges led by Ida Ayu Sri Adriyanti Astuti Widja.

“The defendant legitimately committed violence against children, as stated in paragraph 2, where the people whom the persecution was carried out against died,” Widja said in court, as quoted by Bali Post.

On top of her time behind bars, the defendant was sentenced to a IDR500 million (US$32,877) fine, which if she’s unable to pay, she must spend an additional six months in prison.

Septyan accepted her sentence, which was significantly more lenient than the prosecution’s demand of 19 years, and said that she did not want to seek appeal. Her attorney, I Made Somya Putra said that the defense team wanted to continue to fight, but his client did not want to move forward with it.

“First, because she does feel remorse, and the children’s lives are gone,” Somya said, as quoted by Bali Post.

The prosecution, however, lead by Echo Aryanto Pasodung said they will evaluate whether or not they will challenge the decision. They’ve got seven days to decide whether or not to lodge an appeal.

“So, because the prosecutor will consider it, the decision does not yet have permanent legal force. In the next seven days the prosecutor can state an appeal,” Judge Edi Prasetyo remarked, upon closing the trial.

The disparity in the prosecutor’s demands and the judges’ sentencing is because the court did not find Septyan guilty of the heaviest charge she was facing, “KUHP 340” of the Indonesian Criminal Code, or premeditated murder.

“We will study the verdict in its entirety and comprehensively, maybe tomorrow we will determine the attitude, which is the consideration here of the different articles. If it’s KUHP 340 on premeditated murder, but the judge has another opinion including another article, then we’d consider it normal,” Pasodung said.

Septyan was indicted for smothering her three children to death in Sukawati, Gianyar on Feb. 21. Her three children were aged six, four, and two. After killing the children, Septyan attempted suicide by drinking liquid insect repellent. The woman had been working as an elementary school teacher at the time of the incident. She is the wife of Putu Moh Diana, 35, who was not present at her sentencing hearing, the Jawa Pos network reported.

Her motives were allegedly stress and depression.

During the trial, the woman’s defense team argued she was undergoing dissociation at the time of the murder, brought on by mental illness and severe depression. Her attorneys asked that she be sent through a rehabilitative process in an attempt at recovery.

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