Man convicted of abusing 4 of his 5 children

A 35-year-old father was yesterday found guilty of abusing four of his five children over a two-year period.

The man - who cannot be named to protect his children's identities - stepped on one of his sons' hand, breaking his wrist, and held his youngest child, a five-month-old girl, upside down by one leg. The children are now aged between eight months and 11 years old.

A community court heard that at about 6.15pm on April 13, a Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) child protection officer found bruises and a burn mark on his six-year-old son.

When she told the man she needed to take the boy for a medical check-up, he threatened to commit suicide.

The father said: "If you take him, you won't see me any more. I won't do it in front of (you) and I will do it behind (your back), don't regret. If you take him for medical, you will see it in the news tomorrow."

The man then left home, but returned at about 8.40pm to find the MSF officer still in his flat.

SUICIDE THREAT

If you take him, you won't see me any more. I won't do it in front of (you) and I will do it behind (your back), don't regret. If you take him for medical, you will see it in the news tomorrow.

THE FATHER, threatening to commit suicide when an MSF officer wanted to take his six-year-old son for a medical check-up.

Angry, he threw his mobile phone at her, but missed.

The father then carried his son into the kitchen and placed him on the window ledge. He then climbed onto the ledge and sat next to his son.

Afraid, the MSF officer left the flat and called the police.

In March, the father also threw a lit cigarette at the boy's face, kicked his abdomen and slapped his face. The boy is currently with a foster family.

Later that month, the father grabbed his then five-month-old daughter by one of her legs and held her upside down. He also tried to punch her after becoming agitated by her crying, the court heard.

His 23-year-old second wife made a police report the next day. The baby is now in her care and they have moved out of the father's home.

In February 2014, the man used a rubber hose to hit his then nine-year-old eldest child on his legs and arms. He also slapped and punched the boy's face. The assault ended when the boy apologised for being rude to his mother the day before.

The boy was taken by his teacher to hospital the next day after she wiped powder off his face only to find bruises and red marks on it.

In March that year, the father also stepped on his then seven-year-old son's left hand and abdomen. The boy was taken to hospital by his teacher the next day and found to have a broken wrist.

The man's two eldest children have since been admitted to an orphanage. It is not known who is caring for the man's remaining child, who was not abused.

The prosecution wants the father to be jailed for three years. Sentencing is expected next Thursday.

Amir Hussain

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2016, with the headline 'Man convicted of abusing 4 of his 5 children'. Print Edition | Subscribe