Ex-teacher who abused stepson jailed for seven months
When her stepson talked back at her over the washing of a plate, she hit him on the back of his head with a ceramic mug.
He bled and required stitches.
And when he could not answer an English test question, she slapped him so hard he tasted blood and a tooth almost came out.
Yesterday, the ex-primary school teacher, 44, was jailed for seven months after pleading guilty to three counts of ill-treating the boy from 2016 to 2018.
Two similar charges were taken into consideration.
The woman, who cannot be named due to a gag order, resigned from teaching in 2013 and worked as a private tutor.
She is currently tutoring children in primary and secondary school and her stepson is now 15.
The incident involving the mug happened in November 2016, and the slapping incident in May 2017.
A police report was made over the second incident by the boy's relatives.
The Ministry of Social and Family Development placed them in a programme at a Family Service Centre.
But the family left the programme prematurely.
Between May 2017 and June 2018, the woman had called the boy a "prostitute's child" and tore up his Good Conduct Award. On July 20, 2018, she punched him on the nose over household chores.
A week later, she found out he did not attend remedial classes. She slapped him, hit him with a bag and punched him on the arm. He suffered cuts on his nose, eye region and arms.
Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Daphne Lim said the stepmother had previously said she could not love the victim as her own child.
And the abuse had reached the point where the boy had come to believe he deserved the punishment, and had developed an inability to accept compliments.
Defence lawyer Amarjit Singh Sidhu asked for his client to be given a fine instead of a jail term, urging the court to bear in mind her contributions to the development of young lives.
But DPP Lim countered that a fine would be wholly inappropriate.
District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt agreed, saying: "In these cases, the accused person would say in mitigation (that she wanted to) discipline the child. But such an excuse is untenable given the injuries, the violence involved and the acts that were committed."
The judge added that the woman, who is a former teacher and still an educator, would of all people know what disciplining a child means, but went beyond that.
Mr Singh then asked for a deferment of sentence, as the woman's students were still taking their exams.
She is out on $8,000 bail and has to surrender herself on Nov 6 to begin serving her sentence. For each count of ill-treating a child, she could have been jailed for up to four years and fined up to $4,000.