Singapore—A man who put his daughter’s life in danger in 2018 received a jail sentence of six months and two weeks on Jan 13 (Wednesday).
He had told his daughter, then aged 11, to take some of her grandmother’s pills when she was feeling unwell, but he also wanted to prove a point to his estranged wife.
The two had a fight on the day that the girl took the pills.
The girl ended up at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) for more than a month because of the pills she had taken.
While she was warded there, her father gave her further instructions to lie to the police and to say that she had attempted to commit suicide.
He also told her she should say she swallowed the pills of her own volition.
Four months later she told a social worker the truth.
The New Paper (TNP) reports that on Nov 11 of last year, the 40-year-old man, pleaded guilty in court to one count each of ill-treating a child and intentionally perverting the course of justice.
There is also an additional count of using abusive words on a police officer, for which the man also pleaded guilty.
Neither his nor his daughter’s identity have been revealed for the sake of the girl’s protection.
How the young girl ended up in hospital
On April 7, 2018, the girl texted her mother to let her know she felt sick and to ask her to pick her up from the Toa Payoh apartment where she lived with her father and bring her to the doctor.
However, the mother had no wish to see her estranged husband and told her daughter to take a cab to Woodlands instead.
The girl chose to stay home, in the company of her paternal grandmother and her brother, 9.
Later, however, her father called her mother on the phone, and the two had an argument.
Around midnight that night, the man told his daughter to get her grandmother’s sleeping pills and to swallow some.
The girl initially took half a dozen pills. According to TNP, she was feeling overwhelmed at this point.
According to an account of the case in Yahoo Singapore, the father then told her to go to the playground outside.
He went to her there and told her that he wished to show his estranged wife that their quarrel had stressed their daughter, so the mother would see it was her fault for not providing care to their child.
Her father then told her to take even more pills, which she did.
The pills contain amitriptyline, which is listed as a poison under the Schedule of Poisons Act. According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) website, pills containing amitriptyline are usually prescribed to people over the age of 18, and for children only with specific medical conditions.
A high dosage of the substance may cause “serious side effects such as a change in your heartbeat, seizures or fits,” the NHS website says.
After the second time the girl took the pills, she became unconscious. Her father then decided to bring her to her mother’s place, and called for an ambulance to meet them there.
When the girl’s mother opened her door on April 8, at about 3.45am, the girl’s father told her she was “answerable if anything happened to the victim,” Deputy Public Prosecutor Joshua Phang told the court last November.
The girl’s medical report showed she had taken an overdose of amitriptyline.
On April 18, while warded at KKH, she followed her father’s instructions and told Sergeant Dickson Lek that she wanted to commit suicide.