SINGAPORE, June 14 — On multiple occasions, a man chained his son, aged 10 or 11, to a metal bar in the toilet for up to five hours as punishment for telling lies or not doing his homework.

On at least one occasion, he repeatedly hit the boy with a rubber hose because the boy had angered him by texting his wife, from whom the man had divorced.

Today, the 53-year-old Singaporean was sentenced to two years’ jail after pleading guilty to three counts of ill-treating a child under his care.

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A charge of criminal intimidation was taken into consideration during the sentencing.

The parties involved cannot be named under a court order to protect the victim’s identity.

What happened

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The court heard that at the time of the offences, the man had custody of his biological son after a divorce with his wife.

On November 30, 2022, the man learnt that his son, had been texting his mother despite being told to cut off contact.

He became angry and slapped the boy on the left side of his face, causing injury and pain in the victim’s left ear.

He then used a yellow rubber hose to hit the victim on the upper left arm, back and left thigh, causing multiple bruises.

The boy was taken to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital to treat his injuries.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Jocelyn Teo said that the offender also admitted that he had hit the victim on previous occasions.

Investigations revealed that at least three times in 2022, the man also secured the boy’s ankle or wrist to a fixed metal bar in the toilet, using a metal chain and padlock.

He would put a rubber hose between the metal chain and the victim’s skin to protect him from injury if he struggled, and put some food and water in the toilet, leaving the victim there for two to five hours.

The man would either sleep or leave home, exposing him to potential danger in case of emergency such as a fire, the prosecution said in its sentencing submissions.

DPP Teo said: “The accused did so to punish the victim for lying, not doing his homework or not keeping his promise such as not to contact his mother.”

Police were alerted to the child abuse case by a staff member working with the National Anti-Violence Helpline on December 4, 2022.

Court documents did not indicate which incident led to the police report.

Seeking a jail term of between 28 and 31 months, the prosecution pointed to the “extensive” injuries suffered by the child and the abuse of position of trust on the part of the father as aggravating factors.

Defence counsel Mansur Husain sought a shorter jail term of between 12 and 15 months, describing the term sought by the prosecution as “excessive”.

He said that his client is apologetic for his mistakes and pleaded for leniency so that he could put this chapter of his life behind him as soon as possible.

In delivering his decision, District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt described the punishments in the case as “harmful and completely unnecessary”.

He added that the defence had also conceded that the offender had crossed the line between disciplining a child and committing these criminal acts.

For each count of ill-treating a child, the man could have been jailed for up to eight years or fined up to S$8,000 (RM27,861), or both. — TODAY