$4.5k fine for man who hurt infant son and wife

A cleaner who pressed his six-month-old son's neck against a mattress, causing the baby to cry in pain, was fined $4,500 yesterday.

The 25-year-old Singaporean committed the offence as he was irritated by the noise made by the baby. When his 20-year-old wife intervened, he punched her forehead.

He will spend four weeks behind bars if he is unable to pay the fine. He pleaded guilty in November last year to one count each of assaulting his wife and causing hurt to the baby by performing a rash act.

The man cannot be named as a gag order has been imposed to protect the baby's identity.

The couple and their child lived in a Punggol flat with the man's brother and the woman's sister. Shortly before the incident, the offender was at home on Sept 2 last year when he became irritated with the infant for making "noise".

At around 3pm, he asked his wife to place the baby on a bed.

She initially refused but relented when he insisted.

The woman heard the baby crying soon after and saw him lying face down on the mattress with her husband pressing down on the boy's neck.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jane Lim had told District Judge May Mesenas: "This caused the victim to suffer pain. The victim was crying and had vomited a bit of milk on the bed."

A struggle ensued when the child's mother intervened.

She slapped her husband's face and managed to grab their son away. The man retaliated by punching her forehead.

She then ran from the flat with the baby and passed him to a neighbour before going to the Punggol Neighbourhood Police Centre to make a report.

 
 
 

She went to Sengkang General Hospital at around 5pm and was diagnosed with a minor head injury. She was given seven days of hospitalisation leave.

The baby was taken to KK Women's and Children's Hospital about six hours later.

A medical report stated that he was in "fair general condition" and his vital signs were stable. No injuries were found and he was discharged.

For causing hurt by committing a rash act, the man could have been jailed for up to a year and fined up to $5,000.

Offenders convicted of assault can be jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2020, with the headline '$4.5k fine for man who hurt infant son and wife'. Print Edition | Subscribe