Singapore — A health attendant at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) was given a 3-week jail sentence on Monday (Aug 23) for slapping the head of a patient twice in Dec 2019.
Sixty-one-year-old Sadasivam Kannan was found to have slapped a patient who has chronic schizophrenia.
The patient, 59, has been at IMH since 2005 and was acting in an agitated manner at the time of the incident.
He was later found to have suffered a bruise on his head and a fractured toe.
Sadasivam was terminated from the IMH in Mar 2020.
The former attendant entered a guilty plea to one count of causing hurt to a vulnerable person.
There are two other IMH staff who are also facing charges in relation to the incident, 32-year-old Muhammad Ihsan Mahmud, a Malaysian national, and 25-year-old Iylia Muhammad Afiq Nor Effendi, a Singaporean.
Both Ihsan and Ilyia are staff nurses and were involved in the incident.
In Jan of this year, Ihsan received a nine-week jail sentence after pleaded guilty to assault, while the case of Iylia, who also faces several charges including voluntarily causing hurt and using criminal force, is pending.
The incident occurred on Dec 8, 2019, on a day when a number of IMH patients had been scheduled to get a haircut.
After the victim was finished with his haircut, he started playing with the urinal of one patient and ended up splashing urine on one of the nurses. This nurse then went to wash up and told Ihsan what had happened.
The prosecution said that Ihsan then went up to the victim, who by then was sitting in a wheelchair, restrained. Without provocation or any other reason, Ihsan threw hand sanitiser into the victim’s face three times within six minutes.
On the same day, the victim began to raise a fuss at the day lounge of IMH. Because of this, Sadasivam, Ihsan and Iylia, strengthened the patient’s restraints, but this resulted in the patient becoming more agitated.
Ihsan punched the patient’s eye twice, but he continued to kick and stayed aggressive.
The three staffers continued to restrain him, and he quieted down, but later grew agitated once more, kicking another patient.
At this point, Sadasivam attempted to adjust the patient’s arm restraints, but he also slapped him on the back of his head and scolded him.
The patient calmed down again while Sadasivam adjusted his restraints.
However, the attendant slapped him again.
Yahoo Singapore reported that Sadasivam’s assault was recorded on CCTV.
Later, Iylia found a bruise around the patient’s eye and gave him an ice pack.
The patient’s injuries were later reported to the management by Ihsan, and he was brought to Singapore General Hospital for his condition to be assessed and treated.
A police report was filed against them by a human resource manager from IHM for assaulting the patient.
The former IMH attendant could have ended up with a three-year jail sentence, been made to pay a fine of up to $5000, or both, due to the charge of causing hurt. And, because the patient is a vulnerable person, Sadasivam, could have received as much as twice the maximum penalty. /TISG
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