Man jailed 10 months for ill-treating girlfriend's child whose mental development is slow

SINGAPORE – Frustrated that he did not get to witness his girlfriend giving birth to their baby, a man rained blows on the woman’s three-year-old daughter, whose mental development is slow.

The offence came to light when the girl’s maternal grandmother noticed bruises on the toddler’s face and alerted the police.

The toddler was taken to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

The 25-year-old offender, who is a food delivery rider, was on Friday (Dec 10) sentenced to 10 months’ jail.

He pleaded guilty on Oct 25 to one count of ill-treating the toddler.

The Singaporean man cannot be named as there is 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 aware of the girl’s mental development issues.

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

The man had to make arrangements for somebody to babysit the toddler and he decided to take the girl to her maternal grandmother’s flat.

On their way there, he felt frustrated that he did not get to witness the birth of his newborn.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Colin Ng told the court earlier: “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.

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The girl’s 43-year-old grandmother saw the child’s injuries and alerted the police.

The toddler was removed from the custody of both her mother and the man. She 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.

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.”

The court heard on Friday that the girl, now five, is still living with her mother and the man.

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