SINGAPORE: A woman who was upset over her husband's extra-marital affair slit her own arm and hit her teenage daughter's head with a chopper.
For voluntarily causing hurt to her 14-year-old daughter, the 49-year-old woman was sentenced on Friday (Nov 15) to a short detention order of 14 days and 12 months' of day reporting.
A second charge of using threatening behaviour by cutting her own forearm and going into her daughter's room bleeding profusely to alarm her was taken into consideration.
Both the mother and her child cannot be named due to gag orders issued by the court.
The court heard that the mother had woken up the girl in their flat at about 4.30am on Oct 8 last year, hugging her and saying: "Let me hug you for one last time."
She was reeking of alcohol, and the sleepy teenager asked her to leave the room as she felt uncomfortable with her mother watching her sleep, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Magdalene Huang.
The woman went out and the victim heard some noises in the house, appearing to be from the kitchen.
BLEEDING WOMAN RETURNED TO HER DAUGHTER'S ROOM WITH WEAPON
Her mother soon returned to the victim's room, holding a chopper in her right hand. The teenager noticed a cut on her mother's forearm, which was bleeding profusely.
Her mother said to her: "How could you do this to me? I am your mother."
Worried about her mother, the girl called her grandfather, saying: "Mum has gone crazy again. She cut herself."
Her mother suddenly went towards her and tried to strangle her dog, which was resting beside the girl on her bed.
The girl moved the pet out of her mother's reach, shielding it with her own body.
The mother tried to slash the dog with the chopper but cut her daughter on her arm instead, causing a 5cm-long laceration.
While the girl continued crouching over her dog to shield it, her mother hit the top of the victim's head several times with the chopper, leaving a 2cm-long laceration over her head.
The mother then left the room, and the victim touched her head to find that she was bleeding.
Her grandfather later arrived and let police officers in, and the woman was taken to hospital and arrested.
The judge had called for reports assessing the woman's suitability for day reporting orders and community service orders.
Both the prosecution and defence agreed on the sentence of 14 days' short detention order.
WOMAN EMOTIONALLY UNSTABLE: DEFENCE
Defence lawyers Josephus Tan and Cory Wong of Invictus Law told the court that their client was emotionally unstable during the offences.
Mr Tan pointed out that the statement of facts did not indicate which part of the chopper had been used in the attack on the victim's head.
The dog was the target and not her daughter, and the girl was later taken away by Child Protective Services.
She was later returned to her mother with several conditions, with a case officer required to assess that the family home is safe.
The woman "deeply regrets" hurting her child, and is undergoing skills training to work as a beautician.
Previously, she was a beer hostess for many years and was immersed in alcohol use and sales.
The victim wrote a letter to the judge asking her to give her mother a second chance, said the defence, who submitted the letter to the court.
In it, the girl wrote that her father had left her and her mother when she was 14.
MY FATHER HAS LEFT US, I LOVE MY MOTHER A LOT: VICTIM
"Even though I was young, I still remembered that my mother was going through her lowest point in life, from her outlook I can tell she is giving up in life but because of my brother and I, she decided to live on," she wrote.
"I am scared that she is no longer around because I love her a lot and I wish that nothing will happen to her."
She said she understood from her talks with her mother that the woman was having a hard time controlling her emotions and that it went overboard in the incident.
"I can feel that she is very sorry for what she had done to me and she didn't mean it due to her love towards me, she will never do that," wrote the girl, who is now 15.
She promised the judge that she would attend school every day and make sure her mother would not make the same mistake again.
"My love for my mother is strong. I want to spend more time with her, seeing her every day and create more good memories since my father had left us alone," she wrote.
"I have already forgiven her, your honour."
The woman will have to undergo counselling and continue with her treatment at the National Addictions Management Service in the Institute of Mental Health for her alcohol issues.
She also has to perform 140 hours of community service within a year.
For voluntarily causing hurt, she could have been jailed for up to two years, fined up to S$5,000, or both.