SINGAPORE - A Chinese national was sentenced to a 10-day short detention order on Tuesday (Sept 15) after she used a mobile phone charging cable to hit her then eight-year-old daughter on her arms and lower back.
The 39-year-old mother, who is currently on a long-term visit pass, faced a charge of voluntarily causing hurt, with three other charges taken into consideration during sentencing.
Neither can be named due to a gag order to protect the child's identity.
The court heard that when the incident occurred in August 2018, the girl was still residing under a voluntary care arrangement but allowed weekend home leave to see her mother.
Court documents said that the girl was removed from her mother's care and placed under interim protection from May 31, 2017, to July 27, 2018. The documents did not reflect why this was so.
At about noon on Aug 10, 2018, the girl was with her mother at the massage outlet where the woman worked as a massage therapist.
The girl was playing with her phone when it ran out of battery and she asked her mother to help her charge it. But the woman was busy with work and told her to wait or to go home.
The girl began shouting and screaming, as she wanted the phone to be charged.
Her mother then pinched the girl on her buttocks and used a mobile phone charging cable to hit her daughter multiple times on her arms and lower back causing red marks to appear.
Later that day, the mother continued scolding the girl when she returned home, and used her hand to knock the victim's head.
That night, the girl's child protection officer paid them a visit and found that the girl had red marks on her body that looked like cane marks. The girl said she was in pain and told the officer what happened.
The officer then took her to the hospital and later made a police report.
According to a medical report, erythematous marks, or reddening of the skin, abrasions and bruises were found on the girl's arms, forehead, buttock and lower back.
In her sentencing submissions, Deputy Public Prosecutor Stephanie Koh asked for the community-based sentence of a 14-day short detention order to be made, which would allow the mother to "avoid the stigma of a criminal record".
Offenders given a short detention order are put behind bars for a short time, but will not have a criminal record after their release.
District Judge Teo Guan Kee noted that the offence was committed while the victim was on weekend home leave with the accused.
However, he added that the mother had the potential to rehabilitate and the issue was a domestic matter.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.