SINGAPORE – She told her 53-year-old father not to drink alcohol at home, as she was concerned that he would get drunk and soil himself.
So when Kshivadarrshini Karunanethi was woken up one morning by the sound of cans falling over in the living room and saw that her father had been drinking, she got angry, took a hammer, and hit his head with it repeatedly.
On Friday, the 28-year-old pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt.
District Judge Eugene Teo called for a mandatory treatment order suitability report after both the prosecution and the defence tendered psychiatric reports.
Deputy Public Prosecutor David Koh said Kshivadarrshini, who had completed her studies at the Institute of Technical Education and was looking for employment, was living with her father, mother and younger sister.
After she was woken up by the noise of falling cans at around 6.30am on Jan 6, 2020, Kshivadarrshini left her room and went into the living room. There she found her father, who had been drinking beer at night, asleep on the sofa. She also noticed a few cans of beer in the living room.
At that time, Kshivadarrshini’s mother had left for work and her sister was asleep in her own room.
Said DPP Koh: “The accused had previously told the victim not to drink alcohol at home, as he might urinate on himself after he was intoxicated and the accused or her mother would have to clean him up after.
“The accused then felt very angry with the victim for drinking at home even though she had told him not to. She thought that she did not want her mother and her younger sister to go through the same matter over and over again.”
She then went to the kitchen and took a 34cm-long hammer from a drawer.
While her father was still sleeping, she swung the hammer – which had a wooden handle and a metal head, and weighed about 700g – and struck his head three to four times.
Kshivadarrshini’s father awoke in pain from the blows, with his head bleeding.
When Kshivadarrshini noticed the extent of the bleeding, she called the police and said she had smashed her father’s head with a hammer and that he was bleeding but conscious.
After Kshivadarrshini was arrested, her father was taken to the emergency department at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, where a doctor documented his injuries, including a 4cm cut. A scan showed that he had a fracture in his skull, and he was admitted for observation.
He was discharged on Jan 9, 2020, and was prescribed antibiotics and painkillers.
On Friday, both DPP Koh and Kshivadarrshini’s lawyer, Ms Tay Xi Ying, said the case was an exceptional one.
Commenting on the psychiatric report obtained by the defence, Ms Tay said that it highlighted a link between Kshivadarrshini’s state of mind and her actions.
Kshivadarrshini will return to court on April 5 for sentencing.
The offence of voluntarily causing hurt carries a jail term of up to three years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.