SINGAPORE — A dispute between father and son escalated when the older man splashed hot water from a kettle onto the younger man.
The son, Mohammad Naim Zainal, sustained second degree burns with broken blisters on his right shoulder and shoulder blade.
His father, Zainal Senin, 59, was jailed for a year on Thursday (7 January) after pleading guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt by means of a heated substance, and one count of cheating by falsely stating that a subordinate of his was his guarantor in a motorcycle deal.
Zainal had originally intended to claim trial to his charges but decided to throw in the towel on the first day of his scheduled hearing. His lawyer, Bhargavan Sujatha, told the court that his client was frustrated at his son, who had agreed to pay for his stay at his father’s home but defaulted on his payments after three months.
Naim had also brought his girlfriend home against Zainal’s wishes, and did not help his father with medical bills, said the lawyer.
The frustration came to a head on 20 March 2019 when father-and-son had a heated argument. Court documents did not reveal the nature of their quarrel.
During the altercation, Naim used his mobile phone to record a video of his father, who gestured at him. The pair was arguing in the kitchen when Zainal realised that his son was recording him.
Zainal swatted the handphone away and tried to hold his son. He then splashed hot water that he had just boiled at his son’s right shoulder and back, according to Deputy Public Prosecutor Kathy Chu.
Naim yelled in pain and twisted around, causing Zainal to fall. He called for an ambulance and was conveyed to the hospital for treatment.
A medical assessment showed that Naim sustained second degree burns, red patches and broker blisters on his right shoulder and shoulder blade. He was given five days of medical leave.
Separately, Zainal cheated Yew Heng Credit Enterprise by falsely stating a subordinate as a guarantor for a motorcycle he purchased. He failed to make payment and the subordinate later received a letter of demand, stating that she owed the firm $17,244.83.
Zainal had bought the motorcycle in July 2018 under an agreement for $18,723. He was informed that he needed to provide two guarantors for the agreement and was given the forms for the guarantors to sign.
His daughter agreed to be one of his guarantors. For the other guarantor, Zainal accessed the records of his subordinate, a 68-year-old woman who worked as a cleaner.
He printed a copy of her NRIC and handed it to Yew Heng. He also signed the guarantor form without the subordinate’s consent.
The monthly instalment due to Yew Heng was $262 but Zainal defaulted and only paid $318.
Zainal was later involved in a road traffic accident while riding the motorcycle, which he returned to Yew Heng in November 2018. He defaulted on an agreement to repay Yew Heng for 40 months, prompting the company to send the letter of demand to his subordinate.
In mitigation, Bhargavan said Zainal had suffered from heart problems and a stroke. Naim was still free-loading at Zainal’s house and has sustained no permanent scar or disability, she added.
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