Father jailed for splashing corrosive liquid on son

A father, who went to his 20-year-old son's bedroom and splashed a solution containing hydrochloric acid on the young man's face, was sentenced to seven months' jail yesterday.

Peh Boon Keng, 53, a part-time cleaner who is divorced, admitted to causing hurt to his son, Jacob, by means of corrosive substance.

The solution caused a burn on his face around his eye and lips.

The incident happened at the family home in Yishun Ring Road on Aug 21 last year.

In sentencing Peh, District Judge May Mesenas said it was fortunate his son has fully recovered.

Peh, who is estranged from the family, went to the flat that evening to discuss some matters with his former wife.

He went to the kitchen and took out a bottle containing a cleaning solution he had taken from Khatib Camp where he used to work as a cleaner. He poured the solution into a plastic cup and took it to the victim's room where he committed the offence.

The victim's mother and sister found the young man covering his face. His face and neck had turned red, and he was drooling uncontrollably. There was also a strong burning smell which made it difficult for them to breathe. They helped the victim to wash his face, opened the windows, and sprayed air freshener to get rid of the smell.

The victim was taken to hospital and discharged two days later. He has since recovered from his injuries with no permanent scars.

Ms Natasha Goh, Peh's lawyer assigned by the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, said her client claimed his son was moving towards him, and he interpreted it as an attack. But the prosecution's position was that the son was "in no way aggressive".

Peh's sentence was backdated to Aug 30 last year. He could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 10, 2017, with the headline 'Father jailed for splashing corrosive liquid on son'. Print Edition | Subscribe