SINGAPORE - A man with a psychotic disorder hit his mother repeatedly on the head and taped her mouth shut, after she quizzed him over his handling of a telephone call that came for her.
This was part of a 21/2-hour ordeal in February, which dragged on despite a plea by Madam Manikan Santanaletchmi, 62, for the beating to stop.
It aggravated her eye condition, caused by complications from diabetes, triggering blurred vision and bleeding in her eyes. She had to have surgery to restore her vision.
Yesterday, Yogaraj Arumugam, 33, who also stole $1,707 in cash and valuables from her during the incident, was given 26 months in jail. He pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two charges arising from these actions, as well as a third for breaching a personal protection order while assaulting his mother.
The order was issued in 2012 because of previous instances of violence against her. He was convicted of a similar breach a month before the incident.
A community court heard that on Feb 5, Madam Manikan was alone with Yogaraj in the HDB flat in Bukit Purmei Road. Her elder son, who also lives there, was out at the time.
The attack began shortly after she quizzed Yogaraj over his attitude towards someone who had called looking for her. He had told the caller that she was dead and hung up.
Yogaraj grabbed her hands, slapped her and punched her on the head. He then pulled her by the hair into his bedroom, sat on her and continued to punch her. He also pulled her mouth sideways to stop her from shouting for help, causing it to bleed.
Yogaraj later dragged his mother to her room and laid her on the bed, warning her to remain silent. She received help only when her elder son returned in the afternoon.
The court spared Yogaraj from caning given his disorder, but said a significant jail term had to be imposed, noting the "brutal and prolonged" assault. It urged him to continue seeking treatment. Calling for a significant term, Deputy Public Prosecutor Justin Seng highlighted factors such as the victim's age and injuries. She lived in fear of being assaulted by her own son, he said.
Yogaraj, who was unrepresented, did not say anything in mitigation. He could have been jailed for up to 10 years, and fined or caned for voluntarily causing grievous hurt.
This article was first published on June 27, 2014.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.