Man jailed 3 years for abusing 4 of his children
District Judge Mathew Joseph yesterday had strong words for a father whom he sentenced to three years' jail for abusing four of his five children.
"You were supposed to provide love, care, support and mentor your children - instead you became their tormentor and a child's worst nightmare," said the judge.
The 35-year-old deliveryman did not act like a father.
Instead of nurturing his children, Adam (not his real name) whipped, punched and kicked four of his children. We are not naming anyone to protect the identity of the children.
Earlier this year, he even dangled his then five-month-old daughter upside down by one leg.
For his abusive ways, Judge Joseph sentenced Adam to three years in jail for three counts of ill-treating a child, and one count each of endangering personal safety by performing a rash act, threatening a public service worker and voluntarily causing grievous hurt.
Another three counts of ill-treating a child and one count of intentionally causing alarm were taken into consideration.
In delivering his grounds of decision, Judge Joseph said: "It is almost beyond belief and quite incomprehensible how a parent can engage in physical abuse of his own children, over such a prolonged period and with escalating intensity."
Calling Adam a recalcitrant, Judge Joseph said two of his children have said they are fearful of their father because of the frequent physical abuse.
Two of Adam's five children have been in an orphanage since the first instances of abuse in 2014. Another two are now with their mother. The last is living with a relative.
Citing a recent abuse case in which a two-year-old died after prolonged abuse, Judge Joseph said it was "fortunate" this did not happen to Adam's children.
But he noted the lifelong impact of the abuse and trauma on them.
"They will probably carry these scars, both physical and emotional, for the rest of their lives. They will have to live and cope with the consequences of your reprehensible acts," he said.
Adam remained stoic in the face of the judge's strong rebuke.
But his elder brother Sam (not his real name), who was seated alone in the public gallery, had a pained expression.
The teary-eyed 43-year-old later told The New Paper that Adam is his only sibling.
"Of course I'm upset. Even though our age gap is wide, we are very close"
He said he tried to talk to Adam about his anger management issues, but to no avail.
His younger brother, the sole breadwinner, had fretted over how to make ends meet, he added.
Following the judge's verdict, Sam knows there is now nothing he can do but hope his younger brother will turn over a new leaf.
"I told him to take care, and that hopefully, he will become a changed man (when he's out)," he said quietly.
About the case
Adam (not his real name), a deliveryman, physically abused four of his five children, putting them through a living hell at home.
It all began in 2014, when the 35-year-old whipped his son with a rubber hose until the boy was bruised. He stepped on another son's left hand, breaking his wrist.
Then, the Ministry of Social and Family Development intervened and offered to help Adam with anger management.
Adam refused. His two sons were then placed in an orphanage.
The abuse did not stop there.
Earlier this year, he threw a lit cigarette at his third son and kicked him in his stomach.
A mere two weeks later, Adam dangled his five-month-old daughter upside down by one leg.
When his misdeeds were about to be exposed by a social worker, he threatened to commit suicide.
He then sat on the kitchen window ledge of his sixth-storey flat after placing his terrified third son there.
The six-year-old's upper body was hanging out of the window and his legs were inside the unit.
Last month, Adam pleaded guilty to to three counts of ill-treating a child, and one count each of endangering personal safety by performing a rash act, threatening a public service worker and voluntarily causing grievous hurt.
Another three counts of ill-treating a child and one count of intentionally causing alarm were taken into consideration during sentencing.