SINGAPORE: A babysitter was sentenced to jail on Thursday (Mar 21) after slapping a toddler in the face and lying to the police in her statement.
Angry that a baby she was caring for did not want to take his medicine, the babysitter slapped the 15-month-old child in the face.
After his face turned red, she decided to lodge a police report, claiming that the injuries had been caused by "an unknown man".
She later admitted that she had lied about this, but cooked up another lie that the child had fallen from the bed and injured his face.
The 41-year-old babysitter was sentenced to six weeks' jail for her actions. She pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt to the baby and one charge of giving false information to the police.
A third charge of giving false information to the police was taken into consideration for sentencing.
The court heard that the woman, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, worked for the baby's father from November 2017.
BOY NEEDED MEDICATION FOR HIS COUGH
The father would drop his son off at the babysitter's home every weekday at 8am and pick him up at 8pm.
On Jan 24 last year, he left his child in the babysitter's care as usual. The baby had a cough at the time and needed to be given medicine three or four times a day.
At about 11.35am, the babysitter took a syringe and began measuring the dosage of cough medicine. The baby, who had just eaten, began crying when he saw the syringe. His babysitter tried feeding the medicine to him, but he spat it out.
"Upon seeing this, the accused became angry and used her right hand to slap the left side of the victim's face," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Pavithra Ramkumar.
The baby stopped crying and ate the second dose of cough medicine his babysitter prepared for him. When the woman took the child to the toilet to wash away medicine left on his face, she realised that the left side of his face had turned red.
The child was taken to hospital that night with redness over his left eye and more than five abrasions up to 3cm long over his cheek, nose, eyes and forehead.
BABYSITTER LIED TO POLICE TWICE
"To absolve herself from blame, the accused decided to lodge a police report about the victim's facial injuries, allegedly caused by an unknown man slapping his face," said the prosecutor.
At the police station that same day, the babysitter gave a statement claiming that she had been pushing the baby in a stroller along a walkway in Woodlands when "an unknown man walked towards them".
She claimed that she was listening to her foster daughter, who accompanied them, when she heard "the sound of something being slapped and saw the unknown man run past them". She then discovered a red mark on the left side of the baby's face.
But more than an hour after giving this false statement, the babysitter admitted that she had lodged a false report. She then lied that the baby had been injured after falling from the bed.
It was only half a year after the incident that the babysitter came clean and admitted that she had slapped the toddler.
The judge allowed her to defer her sentence for two weeks. For voluntarily causing hurt, the woman could have been jailed for up to two years, fined up to S$5,000, or both.
For lying to the police, she could have been jailed for up to a year, fined up to S$5,000, or both.