Mother jailed for swinging kettle of boiling water at daughter
Angry that her daughter had slept over at a friend’s house, a woman swung a kettle full of boiling water at her, leaving the 15-year-old girl with first- and second-degree burns.
The 42-year-old woman was sentenced to three weeks’ jail on Wednesday after pleading guilty to one charge of causing hurt to her daughter by performing a rash act.
She intends to appeal against the sentence.
The woman and her daughter cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the victim’s identity.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Kathy Chu said that on the night of Dec 22, 2021, the victim slept over at a friend’s house despite her mother’s objections.
She returned home at around 7pm on Dec 23 and locked herself in her bedroom. Her mother then opened the window to her daughter’s bedroom from the corridor outside the flat, threw shoes at her, and scolded her.
The girl ignored her mother and did not leave her room on Dec 24.
The next day, the mother shouted at the daughter again for sleeping over at the friend’s house, and later told her to wash some dishes.
While the girl was in the kitchen, her mother told her to boil water using an electric kettle and she did so, filling the kettle to the brim.
DPP Chu said that while the girl was washing dishes, her mother stood next to her and continued to scold her for staying out. The girl explained that she was at a female friend’s house, and that she was given a meal while she was there.
Angry at her daughter’s response, the mother grabbed the kettle full of boiling water and swung it at the girl, causing the water to splash onto her.
DPP Chu said the girl was shocked and ran to the toilet to rinse her body. She cried and her mother continued to scold her.
The victim called her grandparents and went to their house. Her grandparents applied cream to her burns, but as the redness did not subside and bubbles were seen on her injuries, they took her to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital on Dec 26.
At the hospital, the Child Protective Service and police were informed about the incident.
The girl had second-degree burns on her chin, neck, shoulders and chest, and was hospitalised for 11 days. She also had first-degree burns on her forearm and a faint burn mark on her wrist.
Seeking a sentence of three to four weeks’ jail, DPP Chu said that as the girl’s mother, the accused owed a duty of care towards the victim, which she breached by what she did.
Addressing the mother as he meted out the sentence, District Judge Kessler Soh said: “This rash act that you did in your anger, which caused hurt to your daughter, is something that no parent should do to their child. Such acts of violence within the family must be deterred.”
He added: “I hope you will never commit such an act against your daughter or anyone else again.”