Man gets seven months' jail for abusing stepson

He relentlessly abused his teenage stepson and refused to back down even after his wife intervened four times to save her son.

The hostel housekeeper kicked the then 15-year-old boy's jaw, punched his back multiple times, slapped him and even threatened to attack him with a hammer.

Yesterday, the 44-year-old man was jailed for seven months after pleading guilty to criminal intimidation and ill-treating a young person.

He cannot be named in order to protect the teenager's identity.

On June 24 last year, the man spotted an abandoned television set at the void deck of their block, and told the boy to retrieve it.

But the teenager could not find it.

He told his stepfather that he would continue to look for it later. He did so, but could not find it.

The man flew into a rage when the boy returned home empty-handed at around 10pm, and threw a bag of potato chips at his face before hurling vulgarities at him.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Stephanie Koh said: "The accused then suddenly swung his leg at the victim's face and kicked him in the right jaw.

"The accused also wanted to punch the victim but was stopped by the victim's mother."

The man then took a hammer from the kitchen, raised it in a threatening manner and marched towards the boy. He said he would step on the boy's face when he was asleep. The boy's mother went between them and stopped him just as he was about to swing the hammer at her son.

After a brief struggle, she managed to wrest the tool away, but he was not done.

He punched the teenager's back multiple times and only stopped when his wife stepped in for a third time.

When his wife was in the bathroom, he slapped the boy's left ear once. She intervened yet again by pushing her husband into a bedroom.

The boy seized the opportunity to run out of the flat and went to a friend's home.

He lodged a police report at around 2.15am on June 25, before going to Changi General Hospital for a medical examination, where he was found to have suffered injuries, including tenderness over his right jaw and a bruise on his upper back. He was treated as an outpatient.

His mother also left the flat after the incident and sought refuge at a friend's home.

She later applied for a Personal Protection Order against the man, which was granted last August.

She has two daughters with the man but the couple are in the midst of a divorce.

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

He could also have been jailed for up to two years and fined for criminal intimidation.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2017, with the headline 'Man gets seven months' jail for abusing stepson'. Print Edition | Subscribe