Father fractures toddler’s skull because he didn’t stop crying
Just six months old and lying in his mother's lap, a crying baby bore the brunt of his father's frustration.
The man struck the toddler's head, causing multiple skull fractures.
That single act of violence caused the child to suffer permanent disabilities for which he will require help with his daily functions for the rest of his life.
The boy is now two years and eight months old, but his developmental age is around four months old.
He cannot sit, move, turn or flip over on his own.
He also needs to be fed through a tube, the court heard.
The 30-year-old father, who works as a driver, pleaded guilty in court yesterday to causing grievous hurt to his son.
The incident occurred on Aug 26, 2016.
The father of three was sleeping in his Bedok North flat when the boy's cries woke him up.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Grace Chua told District Judge Eddy Tham: "The accused shouted 'shut up la, shut up la. Later I have work, you make noise, I cannot sleep', and hit the victim once on the head with his right hand."
The man's 26-year-old wife held tightly onto their son, who began to cry even harder.
A short while later, the baby vomited before falling asleep.
He appeared normal when he woke up at around 8am but when his mother checked on him about five hours later, he was semi-conscious and weak.
The boy was taken to KK Women's and Children's Hospital. A CT scan of his head revealed that he had multiple skull fractures. He also had excess fluid in his brain.
The baby was discharged on March 2 last year, about seven months after the incident.
He is now living with his foster parents who are receiving financial aid from the Ministry of Social and Family Development, as well as the Assistive Technology Fund, a government-funded scheme administered by SG Enable.
Yesterday, DPP Kumaresan Gohulabalan, who was presenting the State's case with DPP Chua, urged the judge to sentence the man to at least 51/2 years' jail with six strokes of the cane.
Defence lawyer Shehzhadee Abdul Rahman, who was assigned to the case under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, pleaded for a four-year jail term with six strokes of the cane, adding that her client had assaulted his son during a momentary lapse of judgment.
The man is expected to be sentenced today.