Man jailed for slapping, pinching stepson, 7

A man who pinched and slapped his seven-year-old stepson for playing instead of sleeping was jailed for six months yesterday.

The 36-year-old bird net installer admitted to ill-treating the child under his care by pinching him multiple times on his inner thighs and slapping him on Aug 5, 2014.

A second charge of slapping his four-year-old stepdaughter in February the same year was taken into consideration. Neither the accused nor the children can be named because of a gag order.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Rachel Lee Pei Rong told the court the man had gone to his bedroom to get a towel that evening when he noticed the night lamp was switched on. He found his stepson had covered his face with a pillow, and was fidgeting under it. The accused switched on the main light in the bedroom, and was unhappy when he saw the boy playing with a headband with lights instead of sleeping.

He pinched the boy multiple times on the inner thighs and slapped him two to three times across the face. He also slapped his wife when she intervened.

The next morning, a teacher noticed the boy had difficulty walking, and saw extensive bruising on his inner thighs. He was taken to the National University Hospital and was found to have bruising and a scratch on his head, as well as two large areas of bruising on his inner thighs.

His stepfather's lawyer James Joseph said in mitigation that his client went overboard in trying to discipline the child and was remorseful for what had happened.

The stepfather could have been fined up to $4,000 and jailed for up four years for ill-treating a child.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2016, with the headline 'Man jailed for slapping, pinching stepson, 7'. Print Edition | Subscribe