SINGAPORE: A 29-year-old man was on Monday (Jan 7) sentenced to eight months' jail for burning his stepdaughter with a lit cigarette.
The jobless man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the girl, pleaded guilty to ill-treating a child, with a second charge taken into consideration.
The court heard that he lived with the girl, who was then nine years old, along with the girl's biological brother and mother.
On Nov 4, 2017, the man was watching television with the siblings when the girl fell asleep.
Holding a lit cigarette, the man pressed it hard on the girl's hand to wake her up. He had woken her up the same way on previous occasions, Deputy Public Prosecutor Sheryl Yeo said.
Two days later, while the child was bending over to sweep the floor, her stepfather kicked her in the left eye for no apparent reason, the prosecutor said.
The pain stopped the girl from going to school. When she went back the next day, her teacher noticed a bruise on her left eye and reported the matter to the Ministry of Social and Family Development's Child Protective Service.
The girl was taken to hospital, where she was found to have sustained a burn on her wrist measuring 0.5cm by 0.5cm, a 0.5cm mark on her nose and a bruise around her eye that was 4.5cm long.
The child no longer lives with her stepfather and is currently cared for by relatives of her biological father, the court heard.
The prosecution asked for eight months' jail, saying that the act of burning the child with a lit cigarette was "borne out of cruelty".
The man, who was unrepresented, asked for leniency, saying that it was his first offence.
He added that his leg was swollen and leaking fluid, but that he "does not know what is wrong with it".
For ill-treating a child, he could have been jailed for up to four years, fined a maximum of S$4,000, or both.