Man hit son, 9, with hanger and kicked him when he did not know homework answers

SINGAPORE - Angry with his nine-year-old son for making some mistakes in his homework, a man thrashed the boy with a hanger before kicking him, causing bruises all over his body.

The father, 35, who cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the boy's identity, pleaded guilty in court on Thursday (June 14) to one count of ill-treating a child.

The man was in a Tampines flat with the boy on Aug 4 last year after his wife left at around 9pm to meet friends for dinner.

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

The boy had some difficulties at around 10.40pm and asked for his father's help. The man then told his son to think of the answers on his own.

When the boy gave several wrong answers, the father flew into a rage and marched into a bedroom to get a plastic hanger.

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. The initial assault lasted for approximately 30 seconds."

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

The man stopped hitting the boy and started yelling at him. The boy, who was 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 twice.

DPP Chua told the court: "With each kick, the accused pulled his leg back fully before delivering a forceful kick to the victim. Thereafter, the accused threw the hanger forcefully at the victim twice and kicked the victim once more before chasing the victim into the bedroom, where he hit the victim's buttocks with his hand multiple times."

A neighbour alerted the police after hearing the boy's cries, the court heard.

The boy told his mother about his ordeal when she came home at around 1.15am the next day.

She retrieved the CCTV footage and the boy was taken to KK Women's and Children's Hospital, where he was found with multiple bruises - the biggest one measuring 12cm by 10cm on his buttocks. He was discharged on Aug 8 last year.

The court heard that the man and his wife are currently undergoing divorce proceedings but court documents did not mention the reason behind them.

The man's lawyer, Mr T. U. Naidu, said his client and his son have been attending counselling sessions following the incident.

District Judge Eddy Tham called for the boy's counselling report and the father is expected to be sentenced on July 12.

Offenders convicted of ill-treating a child can be jailed for up to four years and fined up to $4,000.