SINGAPORE — Frustrated about missing the birth of his child, a man punched and slapped his girlfriend’s three-year-old daughter who was left in his care.
The 24-year-old on Monday (25 October) pleaded guilty to ill-treating the girl, now five, with another two charges of causing hurt to be considered when he is sentenced on 10 December. He was aware that the girl has slow mental development.
All parties involved in the case cannot be named to protect the victim’s identity.
The man was in a romantic relationship with the girl’s mother, 23, who was pregnant with his child at the time. He began living with his girlfriend and her daughter in February 2019 and cared for the girl.
On 22 February last year, at around 3am, the girlfriend went into labour and an ambulance was called to convey her to hospital.
As only one person could accompany her, the man had to arrange for someone to babysit the victim before he could go to the hospital. He decided to bring the girl to her grandmother.
The man felt frustrated as he was missing the birth of his newborn. While the man and the girl were on the way to the grandmother’s flat, the girl began crying, further angering the man.
He punched the girl’s right cheek thrice and slapped her face, which stopped her cries.
At around 6am, the 43-year-old grandmother was roused from her sleep by the man knocking on her door. She agreed to the man’s request to care for the girl and brought her to bed.
A few hours later, she woke to check on the sleeping girl and found bruises on her face. She also observed other injuries on her body and limbs. She called the victim’s step grandfather and her cousin.
When the victim woke up, the grandmother questioned her about her injuries and the girl replied “Daddy, mama”. The woman decided to lodge a police report.
The girl was conveyed to hospital, where she was found with bruises on her cheeks, a scar on her chin, and other skin injuries.
The victim was later removed from the custody of her mother and the man. She lived with a relative with safety measures put in place when her mother visited her. At the girl's request, she was returned to her mother and the man on 3 June last year, subject to unscheduled home visits by the relevant authorities.
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