Man who abused his three children jailed for ill-treatment and drug offences

SINGAPORE - A man who used a heated metal fork to wound his three children on their hand or forearm was jailed on Friday for child abuse.

The 42-year-old, who cannot be named due to a gag order, did this to "punish" them for having played with fire.

They had used a lighter to burn cardboard in the kitchen toilet in 2010. When he came home, he found pieces of paper with burnt marks inside the kitchen toilet.

He called the children into the living room, used a lighter to heat a metal fork and pressed it on the hand of his then 11-year-old daughter. He called his middle child, then seven, over and pressed the heated metal fork to his right forearm. He did the same to his six-year-old son.

They did not seek medical attention.

The court heard that four linear scars could still be seen on the two boys when they were examined by a doctor last September.

Sometime in March 2013, he asked his daughter, then 13, to throw the garbage to the bin in the void deck. She reassigned the work to her 10-year-old brother.

Out of anger, the accused grabbed her head and slammed it on the floor, causing her front teeth to chip off.

The accused's wife lodged a police report on May 18 that year, in order to facilitate the possible application for a personal protection order for herself and her children. She also stated that the accused has anger issues and they all live in fear of him.

On Sept 17 last year, the KK Women's and Children's Hospital informed police about a child abuse case. The girl's physical education teacher had noticed some injuries on her, and upon questioning, she claimed that her father had used a pair of scissors to slash her the day before.

The three children were then sent to KKH for medical attention. The school subsequently notified the Ministry of Social and Family Development.

The accused, who was unrepresented, also admitted to consuming and having at least 12g of Ice, the street name for methamphetamine.

District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan sentenced him to five years and three strokes for drug consumption under the enhanced provision; and 12 months on each of the other charges. He ordered two of the child abuse sentences as well as the drug consumption charge to run consecutively, for a total jail term of seven years (five years plus 24 months) and three strokes of the cane.

Two other charges were taken into consideration.