10 months' jail for infant care teacher who hit 1-year-old boy until back was bruised
An infant care teacher at a pre-school physically abused a one-year-old boy until his back was extensively bruised, and tried to cover her tracks by alluding that the baby boy had sensitive skin.
The child was crying in pain throughout the 30-minute ordeal but she ignored him.
The teacher, a 55-year-old Singaporean, was on Thursday (March 17) sentenced to 10 months' jail.
She cannot be named due to a gag order that protects the boy's identity.
She had earlier pleaded to an offence of ill-treating the child under the Children and Young Persons Act. A similar charge was taken into consideration for sentencing.
The court heard that the teacher, who is no longer at the pre-school, had been entrusted to take care of children up to 18 months old.
Her duties included feeding them, changing their nappies and guiding them with educational play activities.
On Dec 24, 2019, between 12.30pm and 1pm, the teacher committed multiple acts of abuse against the boy.
These included hitting him on his back at least 22 times, slamming his face into a cushion, slapping his cheeks and shaking his arms roughly before slamming him onto the ground.
Shortly after, the teacher noticed that a big red patch was forming on the boy's back. About an hour later, the red patch was turning blue.
Realising that the boy's mother would notice her son's injuries, she pre-emptively sought to divert her suspicions.
The teacher texted the boy's mother before he was picked up from pre-school, asking if he had very sensitive skin.
She also apologised for "patting him to sleep a bit hard... (causing) his skin to have an outbreak".
The next day, the mother took her son to KK Women's and Children's Hospital and he was diagnosed with "alleged non-accidental injury with bruising on his back".
The hospital visit cost $139.10 and the pre-school has since paid for it.
The offences came to light when the mother later viewed closed-circuit television footage of the incident and saw her child being physically abused.
She lodged a police report on Dec 31, 2019.
Seeking a one-year jail term, Deputy Public Prosecutor Gerald Tan said the victim is very young and cannot physically defend himself, or articulate the abuse he had suffered.
For ill-treating a child, an offender can be jailed for up to four years and fined up to $4,000.