Man admits to ill-treating girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter

SINGAPORE – A man, who was unhappy that he did not get to witness his girlfriend giving birth to their baby, rained blows on the woman’s three-year-old daughter when the toddler started crying.

The 24-year-old Singaporean admitted on Monday (Oct 25) that he had ill-treated the child, who suffers from slow mental development.

He cannot be named owing to a gag order to protect the girl’s identity.

The court heard that the man started living with his girlfriend, 23, and the victim around February 2019.

He was also aware of the little girl’s mental development issues.

His girlfriend was pregnant with their child when she went into labour around 3am on Feb 22 last year. An ambulance was called and she was taken to hospital.

As only one person could accompany her there, the man had to make arrangements for somebody to babysit the toddler.

He decided to take the girl to her maternal grandmother’s flat and they were on their way there when he felt frustrated that he did not get to witness the birth of his newborn baby.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Colin Ng said: “At the same time, the victim started crying and this exacerbated the accused’s sense of frustration.

“The accused became angry, punched the victim’s right cheek thrice and slapped her on her face. The victim stopped crying thereafter.”

He dropped the girl off at around 6am and made his way to the hospital to visit his girlfriend soon after.

About three hours later, the girl’s grandmother noticed some bruises on the toddler’s face and the 43-year-old woman then alerted the police.

The toddler was taken to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, where she was found with multiple injuries to her face and left thigh.

Following the police report, the child was removed from the custody of both her mother and the man.

She then lived with a relative with measures put in place to ensure her safety whenever her mother visited her.

But at the request of both the little girl and her mother, the child was placed back into the care of her mother and the man on June 3 last year.

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The DPP said: “A safety plan, including announced and unannounced home visits by the relevant authorities, was put in place to facilitate reintegration and to ensure the safety and well-being of the victim.”

Court documents do not disclose if the man is still together with the victim’s mother.

On Monday, DPP Ng urged the court to sentence the man to up to a year’s jail, stressing that child abuse is a “societal evil that must be severely dealt with”.

The man will be sentenced in December.

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