SINGAPORE: A 28-year-old man was sentenced to four months' jail on Tuesday (Sep 10) for lifting his eight-year-old stepson by the neck and slamming him down into a pile of clothes.
The man, who cannot be named due to gag orders issued by the court, pleaded guilty to one charge of ill-treating the child under the Children and Young Persons Act.
The court heard that the man was home with his wife, her son and the boy's half-sister on Dec 3 last year.
While the man was making a drink for himself, the victim looked towards the kitchen area, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Regina Lim.
"The accused asked the victim what he was looking at, and perceived the victim to be staring at him," she said.
This irritated the man, who walked to the boy, grabbed him by the neck with his right hand and lifted him off the ground.
He slammed the boy down into a pile of clothes after his wife shouted at him.
When she asked what had happened, the man said his stepson was "behaving like a gangster" and staring at him.
The boy's aunt called the police past midnight on Dec 4, saying her sister and brother-in-law were fighting and that the house was in a mess.
"We took the kids out," said the aunt. "My nephew told me that my brother-in-law hit him. My sister did inform me that my brother-in-law has a warrant of arrest. Now he refuses to let my sister go out of the house."
The boy was taken to the hospital but sustained no physical injuries.
The prosecution asked for at least four months' jail, saying that this was warranted by the man's "dangerous actions".
First, he grabbed the victim by the neck, a vulnerable area, and held him up, said the prosecutor.
Second, he slammed the victim down from a height and his actions could have caused serious injuries. It was only fortuitous that that did not occur, said the prosecutor.
When the judge asked the unrepresented man to speak, he had nothing to say.
For ill-treating a child in his custody, the man could have been jailed for up to four years, fined a maximum S$4,000, or both.