SINGAPORE — A 49-year-old woman who hit her teenage daughter on the head with a chopper several times while drunk was on Friday (15 November) sentenced to a two-week short detention order.
She will also have to undergo day reporting for a year and perform 140 hours of community service within one year.
The woman, who cannot be named due to a gag order, will also have to undergo counselling, continue with her treatment for alcohol addiction issues and be placed on electronic monitoring for half a year after her release from detention.
She earlier pleaded guilty to one charge of causing hurt.
Another charge of using threatening behaviour to cause alarm was considered in sentencing.
Victim got hurt trying to protect dog
On 8 October last year, the victim, who was 14, called the police saying, “My mother has just slit her wrist and tried to kill me. Please come here fast.”
At about 4.30am, the teen was woken up by the mother who was reeking of alcohol. The mother hugged the teen and said, “let me hug you for one last time”.
The teen was sleepy and told the mother that she needed to sleep. Later, the mother went back to the room with a chopper and bleeding from her left forearm. She said, “How could you do this to me? I am your mother.”
Worried, the teen called her grandfather, who was her mother’s father. The teen said, “Mum has gone crazy again. She cut herself.”
The grandfather, who lived about five minutes’ walk away, then made his way over to their unit.
After the teen ended the phone conversation, the mother wanted to strangle the dog which was beside the teen on her bed. The teen used her body to shield the dog but the mother tried to attack the dog and ended up cutting the inner side of the teen’s left forearm. The victim also had a broken left index finger when the dog panicked and bit the finger.
As the victim crouched over her dog to protect it, the mother used the chopper to hit the teen’s head for about 10 times. It is not known which part of the chopper was used to hit the teen. The victim had a 2cm cut over the right side of her head.
The mother then left the room.
The grandfather arrived soon after and asked the victim to call for an ambulance and the police.
Officers later arrested the mother. Both mother and daughter were sent to hospital for their respective injuries.
Accused was emotionally unstable
The woman’s lawyers Josephus Tan and Cory Wong agreed with the prosecution on the sentence sought - the maximum two-weeks’ short detention order.
The lawyers said the woman was “ostensibly emotionally unstable” at the time and that she was targeting the family dog and not the victim.
Initially, the teen was taken away by the Child Protective Service, but she has since been returned to her mother’s custody on condition that she attends counselling and that the teen’s grandfather lives with them, among other things. The perpetrator has also been assessed to be of low risk of reoffending.
A letter by the teen addressed to the judge asking for a second chance for her mother was submitted to the court as part of the mitigation plea. The teen also said her father had left their family, and that her mother was going through her lowest point in life at the time.
“I can feel that she is very sorry for what she had done to me and she didn’t mean it due to her love towards me,” wrote the teen. “I have already forgiven her, you Honour,” she added.
The lawyers also said that the woman is undergoing skill-retraining and is due to become a beautician. She was previously a long-time beer hostess at a coffeeshop.
The maximum punishment for causing hurt is up to two years jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
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