A 35-year-old deliveryman, said to be "a child's worst nightmare", was yesterday jailed for three years for physically abusing four of his five children over a two-year period.
The man - who cannot be named to protect his children's identities - stepped on one of his sons' hands, breaking his wrist, and held his youngest child, a five-month-old girl, upside down by one leg. The children are now between eight months and 11 years old.
Community Court Judge Mathew Joseph said the father's acts were "despicable" and "reprehensible".
"It is almost beyond belief and quite incomprehensible how a parent can engage in physical abuse of his own children over such a prolonged period and with escalating intensity. You were supposed to provide love, care, support, and mentor your children - instead you became their tormentor and a child's worst nightmare," the judge said.
He noted that unjustified assault or violence is deplorable conduct. "When such violence takes the form of ill-treatment of a child, it must be denounced severely. And where it involves the parent or caregiver of the child, the court must show its disapprobation in the public interest with a strong deterrent sentence."
The prosecution had asked for three years' jail for the father.
At about 6.15pm on April 13 this year, the court heard, a Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) child protection officer found bruises and a burn mark on his six-year-old son. When she told the father she needed to take the boy for a medical check-up, he threatened to commit suicide and then left home.
He returned at about 8.40pm to find her still in his flat. Angry, he threw his phone at her, but missed.
The man then placed his son on the window ledge in the kitchen before climbing onto the ledge and sitting next to his son. The MSF officer left the flat and called the police.
In March, the father also threw a lit cigarette at the boy's face, kicked his abdomen and slapped his face. The boy is now with a foster family.
Later that month, he grabbed his then five-month-old daughter by one of her legs and held her upside down. He also tried to punch her after becoming agitated by her crying.
His 23-year-old second wife made a police report the next day. The baby is now in her care and they have moved out of his home.
In February 2014, the man hit his eldest child, then nine, on his legs and arms with a rubber hose. He also slapped and punched his face.
A month later, he hit his second- oldest child, then seven. He stepped on the boy's abdomen and left hand, breaking the boy's wrist.
The two older children are now in an orphanage. It is not known who is caring for the man's remaining child, who was not abused.