Four months' jail for man who hit son, 9, with a hanger before kicking him

SINGAPORE - A man held his son upside down by his leg and used a shirt hanger to repeatedly hit him, just because the nine-year-old boy made some mistakes in his homework.

When the boy was finally released, he maintained he really did not know the answers.

This angered his 35-year-old father, who kicked him and started thrashing the boy again.

The boy's father was sentenced on Thursday (Dec 6) to four months' jail after pleading guilty in June to one count of ill-treating the boy.

The man cannot be named due to a gag order to protect his son's identity.

Before handing down the sentence, District Judge Eddy Tham said that the acts of violence were "relentless and extreme".

He also said that a message has to be sent to deter others from committing a similar offence.

On Aug 4 last year, the man was left alone with the boy in their flat in Tampines after his wife left to meet friends at 9pm.

While the man watched television in the living room, his son did his homework at a nearby dining table.

The boy later encountered some difficulties and asked for his father's help. The man told his son to figure it out on his own.

When the boy gave several wrong answers, his father became angry and grabbed a plastic hanger from a bedroom. The boy begged for leniency but his father yanked him off his chair, causing him to fall.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Grace Chua said: "The accused then grabbed the victim's left leg and held him up in an inverted position. The accused hit the victim with the hanger multiple times on his buttocks and legs.

"With each hit, the accused raised his arm and the hanger up before swinging it down with his full strength on the victim."

This incident was captured by a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera in the room. The boy was heard screaming in pain in the video, which was shown in court.

After the man stopped hitting the boy, he yelled at him. The boy, lying on the floor in a daze, then said that he "really did not know" the answers.

When the man heard this, he kicked his son with some force, then flung the hanger at him and repeatedly hit the boy's buttocks with his hand.

A neighbour alerted the police after hearing the boy's cries. The boy told his mother about his ordeal when she returned at around 1.15am.

She retrieved the CCTV footage and took the boy to KK Women's and Children's Hospital, where he was found with multiple bruises. He was discharged on Aug 8 last year.

The man is now out on bail of $15,000 and was ordered to surrender himself at the State Courts on Feb 11 next year to begin serving his sentence.