Nine months' jail for father who caned three-year-old son repeatedly

SINGAPORE - A logistics coordinator caned his three-year-old son about once every two weeks between March and August 2018, including when the toddler failed to inform him of a soiled nappy.

He also caned the boy when he felt stressed, Deputy Public Prosecutor Rashvinpal Kaur Dhaliwal told the court on Friday (Aug 7).

The 33-year-old Singaporean, who cannot be named due to a gag order to protect his son's identity, pleaded guilty to one count of ill-treating the child and was sentenced to nine months' jail.

DPP Kaur said that prior to March 2018, the boy's parents were both working and could not afford professional infant care.

The child was then placed in the care of his maternal grandmother's friend.

His parents brought him back to live with them at their Bedok South flat only in March that year.

The DPP added: "Between March and June 2018, whenever the victim refused to comply with the instructions of the accused or did something wrong, the accused would get angry and cane the victim on his palm.

"Sometime from June 2018 onwards, the accused started caning the victim on his arms, legs and back. During the caning, the victim would sometimes move around, resulting in the cane hitting the toddler's chest and the front of his torso."

The court heard that the abuse came to light after the boy and his parents went to his maternal grandmother's home in June 2018 and the 54-year-old woman spotted multiple cane marks on her grandson's limbs.

 
 
 

When asked, her 27-year-old daughter replied that the father had caned him.

The grandmother saw the child again on Aug 26, 2018 and once more saw multiple cane marks on him.

She went to her daughter's home two days later, as she wanted to take the child to a doctor but the younger woman refused to allow her mother to do so.

The grandmother then lodged a police report at around 4.30pm that day.

The child was taken to KK Women's and Children's Hospital on Aug 29, 2018 and a medical report later stated that he had multiple cane marks on his limbs, torso and back.

They were between 1cm and 10cm long.

The man's bail was set at $15,000 on Friday and he was ordered to surrender himself at the State Courts on Aug 20 to begin his jail term.

 

Anyone convicted of ill-treating a child can be jailed for up to four years and fined a maximum of $4,000.