Man jailed 3 months for burning neighbour's baby accidentally

A baby suffered burns on 35 per cent of her body in 2011 after climbing onto a bed and lying on top of heat packs that had been immersed in hot water. On Wednesday, Mohammad Shahrin Akbar, 31, pleaded guilty to causing grievous hurt to the one-year-old infant through a negligent act and was jailed for three months.

A district court heard that his wife had been baby-sitting the child since July 2011 and the baby stayed with them in Bedok most of the week. On Oct 31 that year, his wife went to the supermarket at 6pm, leaving the child in his care. The infant was then sleeping on a mattress on the floor next to a queen-size bed in the flat's only bedroom. At that time, he was boiling a pot of water in the kitchen.

After submerging 22 Othas heat packs in the hot water so as to recycle them for sale at flea markets and night bazaars, he laid them on the bed to cool down. He turned on two fans before going back into the kitchen. The baby, who was wearing only diapers, was still asleep.

When his wife returned at 6.30pm, she found the baby awake and lying on the heat packs on the bed. Her back was scalded. The couple rushed her to KK Women's and Children Hospital, where she underwent 12 operations for burns on her face, neck, arms, chest, back and thighs.

She was discharged only on Jan 6 last year and will require scar management therapy probably for life. In passing sentence, District Judge Soh Tze Bian noted that Mohammad Shahrin had not committed the offence intentionally but should not have left the child unattended.