Man charged with murder of five-year-old daughter allegedly assaulted, confined her in toilet
Source: Straits Times
Article Date: 16 May 2023
Author: Selina Lum
The abuse went on until the daughter died at the age of five in 2017, said prosecutors.
A 43-year-old man allegedly began abusing his daughter when she was three years old, assaulting her and confining her naked in the toilet for hours.
The abuse went on until she died at the age of five in 2017, said prosecutors.
The man is also accused of similarly abusing his son, while he was aged between two and four years during the same period, between December 2015 and August 2017.
He faces a total of 26 charges. They include a capital charge for the murder of his daughter, for which he has been scheduled to stand trial in July.
The murder charge alleges that he caused the girl’s death between 9pm on Aug 10, 2017 and the early hours of Aug 11, 2017. The charge did not detail how the death occurred.
The man cannot be named owing to a gag order to protect the identity of his surviving son.
The case was mentioned in the High Court on Monday as prosecutors called for seven of the other charges to be included in his upcoming murder trial.
Apart from the murder charge, the man faces 10 charges for the ill-treatment of his daughter.
Eight of the charges involve physical abuse, including the man punching, slapping, and kicking her, lifting her up by her neck against a wall and pointing a pair of scissors at her, and throwing her onto a mattress.
The remaining two charges involve confining the girl in a corner of a room and subsequently confining her in the toilet.
He also faces nine charges for the ill-treatment of his son by inflicting similar abuse.
The confinement offences were allegedly carried out with the common intention of his wife, who has not been charged.
On top of the abuse charges, the man also faces six charges relating to offences that took place after the alleged murder.
Among other things, he is said to have disposed of the evidence, including a camera, a mobile phone, a pair of scissors, a cane, a rubber hose, bath towels and a child safety gate.
After he was arrested by the police, he purportedly lied in five statements from Aug 12 to 17, 2017 about the circumstances of the girl’s death.
Among other things, he told investigators that she died because she had hit her head on a playground slide.
On Monday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Han Ming Kuang argued for the toilet confinement charge relating to the girl and the six post-murder charges to be jointly tried with the murder charge.
The prosecutor argued the murder charge and the confinement charge overlap in time and involve the same location. They involve “a unity of design and a continuity of action” in terms of the ill-treatment of the girl, he added.
He also argued that the man committed the post-murder offences in the immediate days after the girl’s death with the intention to shield himself from a possible homicide charge.
The man’s lawyer, Mr Mervyn Cheong, said it was unfair and prejudicial for his client to have to defend himself against additional charges that carry a less severe outcome compared to a murder charge.
The case was adjourned to Friday.
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