9 months' jail for father who assaulted 11-year-old daughter over phone charger

SINGAPORE - A 33-year-old man flew into a rage and physically assaulted his 11-year-old biological daughter who, because of a ear infection, failed to hear him when he told her to pack his phone charger into his bag.

She was injured, suffering a bruise on her head and scars on her left shin.

The father, a Singaporean, was sentenced to nine months' jail on Wednesday (July 4) after pleading guilty to one count of ill-treating the child.

An unrelated assault charge, committed on the second storey of Orchard Towers shopping centre at around 5am on May 22, 2016, was taken into consideration during sentencing.

The man cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the girl's identity.

The court heard that she was with her father in the living room of their Jalan Bukit Merah flat at around 6pm on July 24 last year when he told her to place his phone charger inside his bag.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kelly Ho said he berated the girl before throwing an empty plastic bottle at her leg when he found out that she had failed to do so.

He then shoved his daughter's shoulders with both his hands to force her to sit on the floor.

DPP Ho said: "While the victim was on the floor, the accused kicked and punched the victim's back and right thigh multiple times.

"He pulled the victim up by her hair and threw her onto a bed. The accused then pulled the victim off the bed by her legs, causing her head to hit against the edge of the bed frame."

The man then dragged his daughter for about 5m. He also kicked her a few more times and shook her before ordering his daughter to leave the flat.

She sought refuge at a neighbour's home and borrowed a phone to call her grandfather, telling him about her ordeal. The elderly man then alerted the police.

The girl was later taken to the National University Hospital where she was warded for five days.

DPP Ho said investigations revealed that this was not the first time the man had physically assaulted his daughter. Court papers did not provide further details about the other incidents.

He is now out on bail of $15,000 and was ordered to surrender himself at the State Courts on July 11 to begin serving his sentence.

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