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Singapore

Man admits to holding baby face down on mattress, punching wife

SINGAPORE: A man admitted on Monday (Nov 25) to holding his six-month-old son face down on a mattress and punching his wife after she managed to pull their child away from him.

The 25-year-old man cannot be named due to gag orders protecting the identities of the victims.

The man pleaded guilty to one charge of causing hurt by a rash act and endangering the safety of his son, and to a second charge of voluntarily causing hurt to his wife.

A third charge of wrapping his hands "very tightly" around the baby, causing him to suffer pain, will be taken into consideration for sentencing.

The court heard that the man, his 20-year-old wife and their child lived together in the same home with his brother and his wife's sister.

The man's brother was in a relationship with his wife's sister.

On the morning of Sep 2 this year, the man - who told the court he worked night shifts as a cleaner - was trying to sleep but grew frustrated with the noise the baby was making.

He scolded the boy and asked him to keep quiet. He also shouted at his wife and threatened to ill-treat both of them.

Later in the afternoon, the man told his wife to carry their son to the bed where he was.

His wife did not want to, but eventually placed the boy next to her husband after he insisted.

A few moments later, she heard her son cry and saw him lying face down on the mattress, with her husband pressing his neck down.

The boy cried and vomited some milk onto the bed, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Jane Lim.

His mother immediately tried to remove the baby from the mattress, but could not, and "a struggle ensued", court documents said.

She asked for her sister and her husband's brother to help, and the pair also saw the offender in the act.

In order to make her husband let go of their son, the woman slapped him across his face and managed to grab the baby away.

HE PUNCHES WIFE, WHO RUNS TO NEIGHBOUR FOR HELP

Angered by this, the man punched his wife on her forehead.

The woman ran away from the house carrying the baby and passed him to a neighbour before making a police report.

She told the police that her husband had assaulted her and tried to suffocate their son.

She was taken to hospital after and diagnosed with a bruise on her head and an abrasion over her finger.

The baby was also taken to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a non-accidental injury but found to be in fair general condition, with stable vital signs.

"YOU SHOULD EXERCISE MORE SELF-CONTROL AND RESTRAINT"

The man told the court on Monday that he worked from 11pm to 6am as a cleaner to support his family.

District Judge May Mesenas said: "You obviously should have exercised more self-control and restraint in terms of family violence towards your own family."

She said she would call for reports to assess if he was suitable for community service or day reporting, and whether he should undergo counselling to deal with his frustrations and for help in appropriate parenting skills.

He will return to the new state courts for sentencing in January.

Source: CNA/ll(aj)

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