Man gets six months' jail for beating boy with belt

For two years, a young boy was beaten and burned with heated objects by his grandaunt and her family for allegedly stealing food and misbehaving.

The horrific abuse, which started in 2009, left the now 12-year-old permanently disfigured.

A district court on Wednesday jailed the former husband of the grandaunt for six months for ill-treating the boy in 2009.

He had pleaded guilty to hitting the boy with a belt. The man, a car park attendant, will start his sentence on Jan 10 as he needed time to collect his salary and transfer it to his wife.

He was the last culprit to be dealt with. In December 2011, the grandaunt, 46, had been jailed for five years. Two of her daughters, aged 22 and 26, received jail terms of 1½ years each. The youngest daughter, who was then 14, was placed on 1½ years of probation. The family cannot be named to protect the identity of the boy, who is said to be coping well in a welfare home and is attending school.

The court had heard that the boy is the son of the woman's niece, whose whereabouts are unknown. The identity of the boy's father is also unknown. The boy's birth was unrecorded, so he has no birth certificate and was not enrolled in school when the time came.

His mother was jailed when he was four, which was when he was sent to live with her aunt.

On one occasion, the daughters complained to their mother that the boy had finished all the food. The woman asked her children to hold the boy down while she ladled hot cooking oil over his face, naked chest and back.