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The Straits Times
August 1, 2023
A man who forcefully shook his two-month-old daughter and, on another occasion, shoved his two-year-old son to the floor thrice – causing skull fractures to both children – was on Tuesday sentenced to jail and caning.
The man, who cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the children’s identities, physically abused the pair on at least five occasions between 2018 and 2021.
In a bid to cover his tracks, he lied to the police and instigated his wife, 28, to do likewise.
On Tuesday, the 34-year-old man was sentenced to 10 years and four weeks’ jail after he pleaded guilty to offences including two counts of voluntarily causing grievous hurt to the children.
He was also ordered to receive 12 strokes of the cane.
Eight other charges, including more counts of assault involving both victims, were considered during sentencing.
On May 25, 2018, the man carried his two-month-old daughter at home while she was crying.
In August 2018, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) intervened and placed the girl in foster care.
The ministry also placed her baby brother in foster care in September 2019 when he was a month old.
The children were allowed to stay with their parents only on weekends, said Deputy Public Prosecutors Christina Koh and Lim Yu Hui.
But this did not stop the man from committing more acts of abuse.
On Sept 20, 2021, a child protection coordinator took the couple’s son, who was then two years old, to their flat for his usual weekend homestay.
The little boy refused to enter the flat, and his mother recorded videos of the incident before sending the clips to her husband. She later carried her son into the unit.
The man came home shortly before 7pm that day and became angry when he watched the video clips that his wife had sent him.
He told the baby boy to stand up and asked him why he had refused to enter their flat.
Incensed when the child did not reply, the man pushed the boy, who fell onto a mat. When the child stood up, the man repeated the same actions twice.
When the boy got up for the third time, the man told him to stand aside.
The DPPs said that the boy walked away in an unsteady manner soon after.
They added: “The accused saw that (the boy) appeared drowsy and asked him to lie down on the mat. Shortly after, (the boy) vomited twice and (his mother took) him to the toilet to clean up. The accused noticed that (his son) appeared weak.”
The little boy developed seizures and his father performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him. The couple then took the boy to KKH, where he was seen at around 8pm.
The boy was found to have a fractured skull and underwent surgery the same day. He spent 24 days in hospital.
The offender was later remanded at the Institute of Mental Health from Oct 15 to 29, 2021, but was found to have no mental illness.