Boy, 4, dies after dad stuffs chilli padi into his mouth, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Boy, 4, dies after dad stuffs chilli padi into his mouth

A man force-fed his four-year-old son the tip of a chilli when the child lied after soiling himself, and the boy later fell unconscious and died.

An autopsy report revealed that the victim died of an acute airway obstruction by a foreign object, and the tip of the chilli was found blocking his air passage.

On May 30, the 38-year-old father pleaded guilty to causing his son’s death by performing a rash act and was sentenced to eight months’ jail.

The man cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the identity of the victim, who had young siblings.

The father of four was at home in his Sengkang flat on Aug 2, 2022, when he noticed that the victim reeked of faeces at around 1.50pm.

The boy was undergoing toilet training at the time and was supposed to notify his parents if he needed to relieve himself.

When the child – identified in court documents as V1 – denied soiling himself, the father decided to discipline his son for the lie by making him eat chilli.

The man took a chilli from the fridge and broke off a small bit from the tip.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sheldon Lim told the court: “V1 was lying on the floor. As V1 refused to eat the chilli, the accused sat on a chair over V1, who was lying on his back, and forced the chilli tip into V1’s mouth.

“After the accused felt that his fingers had moved past V1’s teeth, he released the chilli tip.”

The victim started running around while gesturing at his throat. He vomited and collapsed soon after.

The man’s wife performed the Heimlich manoeuvre, which involves abdominal thrusts, on V1, but his condition did not improve.

The man also inserted his fingers into the child’s mouth in an effort to remove any blockages but failed to clear his air passage.

The father told his wife to call an ambulance, then picked up the child and ran to a nearby clinic.

He reached the clinic at around 2pm but a doctor there found that V1 had no pulse and was not breathing.

The doctor asked his staff to call for an ambulance while he performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the boy.

The doctor also swept V1’s throat with his fingers, but did not find any foreign objects.

An ambulance arrived at the scene soon after and paramedics continued performing CPR on V1 as they made their way to Sengkang General Hospital.

When they reached the hospital, medical staff continued performing CPR on V1 and he was intubated.

Resuscitation was terminated at 3.11pm due to medical futility, and the child was pronounced dead a minute later.

DPP Lim had asked the court to sentence the father to between nine months and a year in jail, adding: “V1 was a young child and a vulnerable victim... The risks of force-feeding a young child a small object while the child was lying down on the floor would have been clear and obvious.”

Defence lawyer Muhammad Taufiq Suraidi pleaded for his client to be given seven months’ jail, stressing that the man is a loving father to his children.

Mr Taufiq added that his client’s “remorse and guilt is absolute”, and he was diagnosed with major depressive disorder after the tragedy.

The lawyer told the court that the man had also been found to have suicidal ideation.

Before handing down the sentence, Senior District Judge Ong Hian Sun said this was a sad case that could have been prevented.

The judge also said that such a method of discipline should be discouraged.

For causing a death by performing a rash act, an offender can be jailed for up to five years and fined.