Singapore

Adult care home worker admits to assaulting autistic resident

A resident's stay at an adult care home turned into a nightmare when a staff member attacked him on two occasions last year.

The assaults left the victim - a 36-year-old man who has autism, mild intellectual disability and epilepsy - with a bruise on the back of his right thigh stretching from his hip.

The attacker, 28, pleaded guilty yesterday to two charges of voluntarily causing hurt. He and the home cannot be named to protect the victim's identity.

The assaults happened on Sept 9 last year at the home, where the man was employed as a care worker. The Indian national, a work permit holder, had been taking care of the victim since 2019.

At about 7.25am that day, the man was with the victim when the latter grabbed his shirt collar. The man then threw the resident to the ground, pinned him down by holding his hands and placing a knee on his stomach. The man then stood up and stepped on the resident's stomach.

He later dragged the victim to the centre of the room and kicked him five times on the outer right thigh.

One of the man's colleagues witnessed the incident but did not stop or report him.

The second assault occurred later that day when the resident approached the accused again, reaching out to him. When told to sit on the floor, the victim did so, then stretched out his hand. The worker grabbed the man's hand, dragged him along the floor and kicked him thrice.

A third co-worker walked in on the assault and told the man to stop his abuse, before taking the victim out of the room. This colleague also did not report the incident. The incidents were caught on closed-circuit television cameras.

The victim's injury was discovered by his mother after he returned home on Sept 12 last year, and she contacted the home's staff.

A report by the Institute of Mental Health stated that the victim had a "history of showing aggressive behaviour towards other people and property" since he was young. But it also stated the victim's behaviour has been "relatively stable" since his admission to the home.

The accused care worker is expected to be sentenced on Oct 28. Offenders convicted of voluntarily causing hurt to others may be jailed for up to three years or fined up to $5,000, or both.

As the victim is a vulnerable person, the man is liable for up to twice the maximum punishment.

COURT & CRIME