Angry at his two-year-old stepson for wetting a diaper, he pulled the child’s hair and pushed him towards the floor.
The 29-year-old Singaporean man had also slapped the child as well as pushed his head and caused him to fall on two separate occasions.
For abusing his stepson and committing other unrelated offences, the man was sentenced to six months and two weeks in jail in the State Courts on Friday (9 February).
The man, who cannot be named to protect the child’s identity, pleaded guilty to one charge of ill-treating a child, another for unlawful assembly and a third one for abusive behaviour towards a polyclinic doctor.
Three other charges were taken into consideration for his sentencing, including two counts of ill-treating the same boy and one count of abusive behaviour towards another doctor.
Investigations showed that in early June last year, the man and his wife, 28, were woken by the child’s cries in the middle of the night.
The woman, the biological mother of the child, subsequently heard the man scolding her son. While the child’s crying had stopped, she wanted to turn on the lights to check on him but the man did not allow her to.
Using the light from her handphone to examine her son’s condition, she saw that the right side of his face and neck were red. The man later admitted that he had slapped the child on the face in a fit of anger, the court heard.
A few days later, the man became angry again when the child wet his diaper. He then pulled the child’s hair and pushed his head towards the floor. The incident was witnessed by the child’s nine-year-old sister.
Upon hearing her son’s cries, his mother came over and observed that some of his hair had been pulled out and thrown on the floor. He also suffered some bruises on his forehead.
In the third incident of child abuse that occurred later in the month, the man pushed his stepson’s head and caused him to fall. The man was cutting the child’s hair and got frustrated when the boy would not sit still.
The mother had observed some redness around his nose and on 15 June last year, she informed a social worker about the three incidents.
The social worker then brought the mother and her son to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital where its staff referred their case to the police.
In a separate incident in May last year, the man was part of an unlawful assembly together with 10 other people, which gathered at Blk 233 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 for a “settlement talk”. All of them were members of a secret society known as Sio Kun Tong, and were from various branches of the gang.
While the incident resulted in a heated argument, it did not escalate to physical violence. However, when they started to leave, the police arrived after receiving a tip-off.
The police conducted a search and found two knives hidden under the floor mat of one of the members’ car.
Separately, the man visited the Bukit Merah polyclinic at about 11am on 28 April, 2016, to seek medical attention for a headache.
The man lost his temper when the doctor on duty only gave him a day’s medical leave. He threatened to punch the 37-year-old doctor in the face and said, “If I see you outside, I will punch you! All the doctors in this polyclinic are useless.”
His sentence begins on Friday.
For abusing his stepson, the man could have been jailed for up to four years and/or fined up to $4,000.
For unlawful assembly, the man could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined.
For verbal abuse towards the doctor, he could have been jailed for up to 12 months and/or fined up to $5,000.