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Abusive dad who killed 5-year-old daughter medically unfit for caning, gets more jail time

Abusive dad who killed 5-year-old daughter medically unfit for caning, gets more jail time

Source: Straits Times
Article Date: 10 Jul 2024
Author: Selina Lum

The court agreed with the prosecution that six months should be added to the man’s sentence, to reflect strong condemnation and reprobation of his cruel acts as he was medically certified to be permanently unfit for caning.

A man who was sentenced to 34½ years’ jail and 12 strokes of the cane in April for abusing his two children, resulting in the death of his five-year-old daughter, will have to serve six more months’ jail in lieu of caning.

The 44-year-old man was medically certified on May 13 to be permanently unfit for caning, on account of his degenerative disc disease and a disc compression, prosecutors told the High Court on July 9.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Norine Tan sought an additional jail term of six months to be imposed, arguing that there was a need to compensate for the deterrent and retributive effect that was lost with the avoidance of caning.

The man’s lawyer, Mr Mervyn Cheong, argued that no more jail time was needed, and sought to distinguish the current case from past cases where an additional imprisonment term was imposed.

Under the law, the court can impose an additional jail term of up to a year in situations where the sentence of caning cannot be carried out.

Justice Aedit Abdullah agreed with the prosecution that six months should be added to the man’s sentence, to reflect strong condemnation and reprobation of his cruel acts.

The offender cannot be named owing to a gag order to protect the identity of his son, who survived the abuse.

Justice Abdullah, however, had allowed the first name of the daughter – Ayeesha – to be published “so that society may remember her”.

The two victims were the man’s children from his previous marriage.

He married his second wife in 2015. They have three children together.

The man started ill-treating Ayeesha and her brother, who is a year younger, in 2015.

The man underfed Ayeesha and her brother, causing the children to be so hungry that they ate their own faeces and the stuffing of a mattress.

Towards the end of that year, the man and his wife began hitting Ayeesha, who was then three years old, and her brother, who was only two.

From February to October 2016, the couple confined the children in a “naughty corner”, which was barricaded with a bookshelf and a wardrobe to keep them there.

The children were let out only for meals and baths.

From October 2016, the children were confined naked in the toilet.

The man also installed a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera to monitor the children.

On the night of Aug 10, 2017, after his wife complained to him about Ayeesha, the man smacked the girl 15 to 20 times on her face.

At about 3am on Aug 11, 2017, the wife again complained to the man about the children. He then punched the children on their backs, kicked and stamped on Ayeesha, and slapped her face.

That evening, the man’s wife realised that Ayeesha was unresponsive.

In the early hours of Aug 12, 2017, he threw away evidence, including the CCTV camera, into different rubbish bins at nearby blocks.

He then took his son and Ayeesha’s body in a pram to Singapore General Hospital, where he lied to the staff that the girl became unresponsive that morning.

After Ayeesha was pronounced dead by the doctors, the man lied to the police that she had hit her head on a slide at a playground.

It was only when he was confronted with footage from police surveillance cameras contradicting his story that he admitted to these lies.

He was originally charged with murder, and went on trial in July 2023. In the midst of the trial, he accepted the prosecution’s offer to amend the charge.

On April 30, 2024, he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of culpable homicide for the death, four charges of child abuse, and a charge of disposing of evidence.

Another 20 charges, for child abuse and for lying to the police, were taken into consideration.

DPP Tan had then said that the prosecution will be reviewing the case against the man’s wife.

Source: Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

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