SINGAPORE: A man who overdosed his 11-year-old daughter on sleeping pills following an argument with his wife was jailed for six months and two weeks on Wednesday (January 13).
The 40-year-old man, still married but living separately from his wife, wanted to show his wife that their marital disputes caused stress for their daughter and point out to her his fault for not taking good care of the victim.
Not all parties to the case can be named to protect the identity of the victim.
The man pleaded guilty in November to three counts of mistreating a child in his custody, intentionally hijacking the course of justice and using insulting words towards the police. Three other charges were taken into account in sentencing.
The court heard that the man was living apart from his wife during the April 2018 offenses due to marital disputes and that he had custody of the victim.
On April 7, 2018, the victim felt bad and asked her mother to come and pick her up to see a doctor, but her mother asked her daughter to take a taxi to her apartment instead.
The offender called his wife and argued with her on the phone. In the early hours of April 8, 2018, he asked his daughter to retrieve a vial of sleeping pills containing amitriptyline, a substance listed as a poison in the Poisons Act.
Agitated by the argument with his wife, the man ordered his daughter to take the pills belonging to her grandmother, and she took six pills before going to the playground as her father ordered.
She took more pills later on her father’s instructions and passed out. The man took the girl to his wife’s house, calling 995 on the way, and his wife opened her door to see the victim lying on the ground.
The man told him that it would be his fault if anything happened to the victim. The girl was taken to hospital with an overdose of amitriptyline and in an altered mental state.
She was kept for over a month, during which her father asked her to lie to the police saying that she had taken the pills to kill herself.
The girl did and was investigated for attempted suicide, but her father’s offenses were uncovered when she told social workers about the incident in August 2018.
For abusing a child in his care, the man could have been jailed for up to four years, fined up to S $ 4,000, or both. For perverting the course of justice, he could have been jailed for up to seven years, fined, or both.