10 years' jail, 10 strokes of the cane for killing girlfriend's toddler

A part-time furniture mover, who struck his girlfriend's three-year-old son so hard that the toddler fell into a coma and died in hospital five days later from his injuries, was sentenced to 10 years' jail and 10 strokes of the cane.

The sentence meted out on Tuesday to Muhammad Raffiq Jaffah, 25, includes punishment for unrelated charges of rioting and driving under disqualification.

Muhammad Raffiq pleaded guilty last month to these charges, in addition to a charge of culpable homicide for killing Danish Iman Abdullah in Dec 2010, and abusing the child on two previous occasions. The three-year-old is the son of his girlfriend, who is also his cousin, from a previous relationship.

The toddler died on Dec 20, 2010 from traumatic head injuries. The toddler hit his head on a wall from the impact of a slap on the face by Muhammad Raffiq. The boy later fell in the toilet.