Property agent jailed for hitting son's cheek and striking his body with a clothes hanger

SINGAPORE - A property agent was jailed for seven weeks on Monday (Nov 13) for ill-treating his 10-year-old son, causing him unnecessary physical pain.

The man swung his hand and hit his son's cheek while travelling in a car on Dec 30, 2015. He also used a clothes hanger to hit the boy's body at least four times at home on Jan 2, 2016. 

The 42-year-old accused pleaded guilty to child abuse. Another similar charge was taken into consideration during sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Claire Poh said that the accused, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of the child, and his wife are divorced and have three children, including the victim.

On Dec 30, 2015, the accused was driving his car with the victim and his younger sister seated in the back when the man asked the boy about an outing. The younger sister said they met their mother during the outing.

Upset that his former wife had gone out with their three children, the accused asked the victim to move to the front passenger seat. The boy crawled through the gap between the front seats while the car was moving and sat in front.

The accused then asked his son why he had hidden the fact that the complainant, his former wife, was at the outing. The boy kept quiet.

"The accused was angry with the victim and swung his left hand at the victim, hitting the victim's right cheek. This caused the victim physical pain,'' said DPP Poh.

The accused then pulled over to the side of the road to again ask the boy why he did not tell him he had met his mother at the outing. The boy remained quiet, and the accused raised his hand. On seeing this, the boy covered his face and his father slapped the top of his head once.

Three days later, the accused used a clothes hanger and struck the victim multiple times on the body while he was sleeping. He was angry that the boy had been irritating his younger sister, and was also vexed about the financial situation of the family.

The accused stopped when his domestic helper entered the bedroom and took the clothes hanger out of his hand and told him to leave.

The boy's mother lodged a police report against the accused that day for using physical violence on the boy. The accused could have been fined up to $4,000 and/or jailed for up to four years per charge.