SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): After taking drugs, a man fatally slapped his two-year-old daughter, then he and his wife burnt the body in a metal pot to destroy the evidence.
They put the burnt remains in a cardboard box, sealed it with masking tape and cling wrap, before putting the box under the kitchen stove.
Over the years, they lied to their family and the authorities about the girl’s whereabouts.
More than five years later, in 2019, the woman’s younger brother, who had become increasingly curious about the contents of the box, opened it, despite her warning him not to touch it.
He showed his find to the woman’s friends, who called the police because they felt uneasy with what they saw.
On Tuesday, the girl’s father was sentenced to a total of 21½ years’ jail and 18 strokes of the cane after pleading guilty to a charge of culpable homicide for causing her death by slapping her and failing to provide her with medical aid.
He also pleaded guilty to three other charges - one for ill-treating his six-year-old stepson, rioting and consumption of methamphetamine.
Five other charges were taken into consideration.
High Court judge Aedit Abdullah described the man’s act in slapping his two-year-old daughter as callous, vicious and heinous.
Justice Abdullah also lifted a gag order on the girl’s given name - Umaisyah.
“It is important that we remember her by her name,” he said, noting that she was robbed of any opportunity of growing up and leading a fulfilling life.
“Umaisyah deserves so much more.”
Details such as the names of the couple and the address of the flat, which could lead to the identification of the surviving children, cannot be published.
The couple were initially charged with murder.
On March 2, 2021, the woman was granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal for her murder charge.
It means she can still be prosecuted for the offence later, depending on the evidence that emerges.