After his wife accused him of abusing his stepson, he was arrested for the alleged abuse and for breaching a personal protection order (PPO) that she had taken against him.
The 27-year-old man, who wanted to be known only as Mr Salim, has now come out to deny the allegations against him.
Last week, The New Paper reported that his wife, known only as Madam Fifi, claimed that he had kicked her first son, a seven-year-old, in the chest before picking him up and throwing him on the ground twice on Feb 28.
The boy, who studies at a primary school in the west, was taken to hospital on March 3 after his teacher discovered his injuries.
Madam Fifi, who is in her late 20s, claimed that was not the first time Mr Salim had abused the boy. She alleged that he would beat her and her son whenever things did not go right for him at home over the past two years.
But Mr Salim, an odd job labourer, told The New Paper that he did not kick his stepson or throw him on the ground as alleged.
"I only slapped him once and that was after my wife kept telling me to discipline him because he was being naughty and disturbing his stepbrother (a two-year-old boy from their marriage)," he said.
He said that the slap made his stepson fall backwards and knock his head on the playpen.
Mr Salim claimed the boy only suffered a small scratch near his eye. He said he knew nothing about the cut near the boy's right ear.
"So when I found out that my stepson was in hospital, I was shocked and thought it was because something had happened in school, not because I had punished him."
He said he had visited the boy in hospital together with his wife. They then got into an argument and she blew things out of proportion. "She went to tell the police that I abused my stepson, which I did not," he said.
Mr Salim admitted that he can be hot-tempered.
Referring to Madam Fifi's claim that he had injured her by throwing his mobile phone at her, he claimed it was an accident.
"It was at night and our home was dark. We were having an argument and I just threw my phone. I didn't see where she was and it hit her. I didn't mean to do it," he said.
That was how she received a cut above her lip, he added. Madam Fifi said the wound needed two or three stitches.
He also said that he was unaware and surprised that she had applied for PPOs for her sons in 2013 and for herself last year.
Mr Salim added that he had worked hard to provide for his family since they got married about three years ago.
Wife hoped things would get better
When told of her husband's denials, Madam Fifi maintained that Mr Salim had kicked her older son on Feb 28.
"I saw his leg move. How could he even claim that such a thing did not happen?" she said.
Madam Fifi said she had allowed Mr Salim to continue living with her and the boys after getting the personal protection orders because she hoped things would get better.
"I wanted to give him a chance to change. But now I realise it was foolish of me," she said.
Her immediate neighbour, who wanted to be known only as Mr Rosman, said he often noticed injuries on the older boy.
The site manager, who has known the family for three years, said he was the one who informed the school after he saw the boy sporting a black eye on March 2.
But he admitted he had not personally seen Mr Salim abusing the boy or Madam Fifi
This article was first published on March 16, 2015.
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