SINGAPORE – A housewife who abused her two daughters, aged six and 10, breaking the older child’s front teeth, was on Wednesday (Sept 29) sentenced to three years’ jail.

The woman’s offences came to light when her 37-year-old husband returned home and found his daughter’s teeth broken.

He took the child to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) and the hospital later alerted the police.

The abuse continued while the police were investigating her case and when she was out on bail.

Before handing down the sentence on Wednesday, District Judge Kessler Soh addressed the woman, who appeared in court via video link, and told her: “Discipline (your children) if you must but do so appropriately.”

He also hopes that she will not “take it out” on her children again.

On Sept 16, the mother, now 38, admitted to seven counts of abusing her daughters.

Four other similar charges were considered during sentencing.

The woman, who cannot be named to protect the victims’ identities, also has a son whose age was not stated in court documents.

A psychiatric report found that the woman was not suffering from any mental illness at the time of the offences.

The court heard that in December 2018, her husband installed a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera in the living room of their home for occasions when the children were left alone.

On June 18, 2019, he discovered that the older girl’s front teeth were broken.

She told him that her mother had slapped and kicked her, causing her mouth to bleed.

He took her to KKH without confronting his wife and the girl was given two days of medical leave.

The father later checked the CCTV footage and found that his wife had assaulted both daughters on other occasions.

Several clips of CCTV footage played in court showed the woman assaulting the girls by slapping, pinching and kicking them.

She was also seen pulling the older girl’s ears and dragging her into a bedroom by her hair.

The older daughter revealed during investigations that the acts of abuse started when she was still in kindergarten but they got worse in 2018.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lim Ying Min had said that the child did not tell her father about her ordeal as she was afraid of more beatings.

The police were conducting their investigation of the case when the woman reoffended, the court heard.

This time, she threw a marker pen at the elder daughter’s forehead on Dec 1, 2019.

Her husband returned home later and alerted a child protection officer, who agreed to visit the home the next day.

The woman then instructed the older girl to tell the officer that they were merely playing when a toy hit her.

The girl was taken to KKH and found to have swelling and bleeding on the left side of her forehead.

The mother was out on bail on March 8 this year when she assaulted the girl yet again.

She told the investigating officer that she knew she was going to jail and wanted her daughter to behave before she went away.

The psychiatric report found that the risk of the woman using harsh physical punishment on children in future remained high.

For each charge of abusing a child, an offender can be jailed for up to four years and fined up to $4,000.

Last modified: September 29, 2021