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Mother sentenced to 6 ½ years in jail for abusing young son, leading to brain injury and cerebral palsy

"The force of the accused's slap was so great that the victim's body turned midway and the victim fell sideways, with his head hitting hard against one of the legs of a nearby metal table," said DPP Chua

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Singapore – A mother, 27, was sentenced to 6 ½ years in jail on July 8 (Monday) for hurting her young son so severely he suffered from head injuries, a fractured arm, and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

A mother, who will not be named to protect the victim’s identity, was reported to have pleaded guilty on May 10, 2019, to two counts of causing grievous hurt and one count of ill-treatment to her then 23-month-old child.

According to Deputy Public Prosecutor Grace Chua, the woman often lost her temper with her son. She was living alone with her three sons; the other two children were a month old and four years old during the time of the incident in March 2018.

The children’s father didn’t live with them, reported CNA.

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It was said that the mother slapped her son hard, twice on both cheeks after the child refused to stop playing with his diaper containing faeces.

“The force of the accused’s slap was so great that the victim’s body turned midway and the victim fell sideways, with his head hitting hard against one of the legs of a nearby metal table,” said DPP Chua.

According to the court documents, the boy started to cry and shake violently at the impact.

His mother tried to calm him down but to no avail and massaged him with some oil as she thought he was having a fit.

During this time, the little boy was semi-conscious and barely responsive.

The mother did not call for an ambulance and instead contacted her friend for advice because she was afraid her children would be taken away from her.

After some urging, the mother called for an ambulance 10 to 15 minutes later.

The child was brought to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) without his mother who remained at home with the other children.

The boy went through an urgent operation to remove a part of his skull and a blood clot and was eventually transferred to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH).

He was diagnosed with spastic-dystonic cerebral palsy and suffers from still muscles and involuntary muscle spasms.

It was discovered that his developmental age would be that of a six-month-old and he was deemed likely to be dependent on others for daily living.

The injuries also left him unable to eat on his own and he had to be fed through a tube into the stomach.

It was noted in the court documents that this was not the first time the mother had hit her son.

According to the prosecution, “The accused’s relationship with her son had been strained as she found the victim to be slow in his development.”

It was due to the slowness in development that the mother frequently lost her patience with the victim.

Before the latest incident, the mother punched her son’s chest repeatedly because of frustration that he did not listen to instructions.

She also forcefully yanked his left arm at another instance, which resulted in a loud “crack” because the child refused to take a bath.

The mother did not take her son to the doctor, even though his left arm was swollen and painful.

Two to three weeks later, X-rays revealed a fracture.

An offender can be jailed up to 10 years and fined or caned for every charge of causing grievous hurt. Women, and males aged over 50 are exempt from being caned. -/TISG

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