Woman admits splashing hot water on her 4 children on suspicion that one of them stole her cash


Her offences were committed when her three daughters were aged eight, 10 and 11, and her son was nine. - LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE

SINGAPORE: Suspecting that one of her four children, aged eight to 11, stole her money, a woman made them look for the cash as she splashed hot water on them.

On June 24, the single mother, 33, who cannot be named due to a gag order to protect her children’s identities, pleaded guilty to one charge of ill-treating a child under her care.

Her offences were committed when her three daughters were aged eight, 10 and 11, and her son was nine.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tin Shu Min said that on July 2, 2022, the woman woke her children up to shower and get them ready for madrasah, or Islamic religious school.

She told her eldest daughter to take $20 from her wallet to buy bread for breakfast. When the girl said there was only $5 in the wallet, instead of $60 the woman thought she had, she suspected that one of the children may have taken it.

The woman told the children to look for the money as she watched and threatened to splash hot water on them if they failed to find it.

She then went to the kitchen, boiled water and filled a tumbler with it. She returned to the bedroom where her children were still searching for the money and splashed water on them, asking them to return the money.

The DPP said: “As her children continued to deny taking the money, she went back to the kitchen to refill the tumbler with hot water and splash it in the direction of her children. She repeated this process twice more for a total of four splashes, one for each child.

“During the time the accused was splashing hot water on her children, they were crying, running around the bedroom, and apologising.”

The children kept searching for the money until they had to shower and get ready for madrasah, added the DPP.

As the woman removed her son’s clothes before showering, she noticed burns on his body. She then checked and realised her daughters had suffered similar burns. She cried and applied medicated oil on them. She later phoned her elder sister to come over, and an ambulance was called.

According to court documents, the children suffered “superficial partial thickness burns”, with their burns ranging from 1 per cent to 10 per cent of their total body surface area. The 10-year-old girl had the most serious injuries, with burns on her left arm, abdomen and both thighs.

DPP Tin said that while there was no limitation to the range of movement on all of the girl’s limbs, it is likely that there will be permanent scarring from the burn injuries. The woman will be sentenced in August.

Those convicted of ill-treating a child he or she has custody or care of can be jailed for up to eight years, fined up to S$8,000, or both. - The Straits Times/ANN

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