Singapore

Child abuser jailed, given caning

Jail and cane for man who slapped, hit and flung girlfriend's one-year-old son

A man who pushed his girlfriend's one-year-old son off a bed with so much force that the baby landed on the ground 2m away with a broken skull was yesterday jailed for 6½ years and given six strokes of the cane.

The infant suffered bleeding in his brain from the assault on March 25 last year and had to undergo emergency brain surgery.

Now three, the boy is in foster care.

He is still undergoing rehabilitative therapy - including speech, physiotherapy, music and play therapy.

Franklie Tan Guang Wei had pleaded guilty earlier this month to one charge of causing grievous hurt and three charges of ill-treating a child.

He also admitted to another count of child abuse, which was taken into account in sentencing.

District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim said a deterrent sentence was needed to signal society's disapproval over Tan's conduct.

She said: "The most glaring and obvious aggravating factor is the fact that these acts of abuse were committed against a defenceless and vulnerable child...

"His only crime was the fact that he cried, a natural thing for him to do at his age, and could not be consoled, which (Tan) found frustrating."

The child and his 25-year-old mother cannot be named to protect the boy's identity.

He was born in mid-2013, after his father lost contact with his mother.

CHANGE

In August 2014, the mother got into a relationship with Tan. The next month, the infant's behaviour changed.

Assistant Public Prosecutor Dillon Kok said the boy appeared fearful of males and had nightmares.

Two nannies who looked after him also found bruises on his body, but the mother claimed there were "spirits" in the flat.

In November that year, the mother got pregnant with Tan's child and moved in with him and his mother.

On Nov 8, the baby's cries woke the couple. Tan slapped him once, leaving finger marks on his cheek and bruising near his ear.

Three days later, a nanny took photos of the bruises and swelling. The mother said he had fallen off the bed.

The nanny made a police report on Nov 19 and the Child Protective Service was informed. The baby was then put in the nannies' care, and the mother and Tan were allowed only weekly supervised access.

But in January last year, they were suspended from all contact after he was found with scratches on his thighs after a visit.

They were granted supervised access again the next month.

But on March 8, Tan's grandfather left the infant at Tan's flat. That night, frustrated with his cries, Tan threw the baby at his mother, who was about 2m away. The infant fell against her body.

Later, Tan and the mother were allowed to spend nights with him.

But on the morning of March 25, again angered by the baby's cries, Tan hit his buttocks twice, resulting in a bruise.

After the mother went to work, leaving the infant alone with Tan, the baby vomited on the bed. Angry, Tan forcefully pushed him off the bed.

The infant landed face-up about 2m away and vomited again. Tan took him to the toilet to shower, but did not check the water temperature first, scalding his upper back.

Later, Tan noticed the baby was in a daze, semi-conscious and vomiting repeatedly. He told the mother and they took him to hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery.

The mother has been charged with two counts of permitting Tan to ill-treat the child. Her trial is scheduled to begin on Sept 26. - The Straits Times

"The most glaring and obvious aggravating factor is the fact that these acts of abuse were committed against a defenceless and vulnerable child..."

- District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim

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