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Man kicked, punched and stepped on 4-year-old stepdaughter

A man assaulted his four-year-old stepdaughter so brutally that she suffered a broken rib, a buckle fracture on her forearm as well as bruises all over.

When a doctor examined her, she was found with 29 injuries, a cumulative result of about two months of physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her 26-year-old stepfather.

The accused, a bus driver, had admitted to causing grievous hurt to the victim on Nov 16 last year and two charges of child abuse, including using the base of a broken fan to hit the victim on the head last September.

He cannot be named in order to protect the identity of the victim.

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On Nov 16, he scolded the girl for scratching the scabs on her hand and ordered her to go to the toilet.

He scolded her again when he found urine in the toilet. He then used a slipper to hit her on the head, causing it to bleed, and repeatedly slapped her on the face. He also punched her.

The man scolded his 22-year-old wife when she tried to intervene.

When he found the victim smearing the blood from her hand and head on the toilet wall, he assaulted her.

He bit her arms, pulled her hair and kicked her abdomen, causing her to fall backwards.

He then punched her face and strangled her.

He continued to punch her chest and twisted her arms.

The victim cried and laid on the ground in pain.

When he told her to stand up and she did not, he stepped on her chest and pressed his right foot on the area at least four times, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Jason Chua. When the accused's wife scolded him and pulled him away, he slapped her twice.

The child was not given any medical attention until the next day, when her grandmother noticed her face and right arm were swollen and saw bite marks on her arms. A police report was made.

A child psychiatrist reported that the victim woke up frequently at night and would startle at the mention of "daddy".

Yesterday, the accused was sentenced to seven years' jail and nine strokes of the cane.

DPP Chua said the prolonged period of abuse clearly showed the accused's profound lack of basic respect for the victim's welfare and dignity.

He said the accused assaulted the girl because he was unhappy with his wife or because he wanted the woman's attention.

DPP Chua said the number of child abuse cases investigated amounted to 551 in 2015 and 873 last year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2017, with the headline 'Man kicked, punched and stepped on 4-year-old stepdaughter'. Print Edition | Subscribe