An unemployed man has been sentenced to two years’ jail for causing the death of his two-month-old daughter by forcefully rocking her for about 10 to 15 minutes.
This happened on 10 June 2009 in a rented flat near Havelock Road sometime after 9pm.
The Court heard that the 30-year-old man rocked the infant “forcefully” as he was “frustrated” that she was crying and would not go to sleep.
The man’s 23-year-old wife came home from work at around 7am the next day and noticed that her baby was “behaving strangely” when she tried to feed her a bottle of milk.
The baby was brought to hospital soon afterwards, and died in the Children’s Intensive Care Unit of KK Hospital a week later at around 8am on June 17.
A medical report from KKH revealed that the infant suffered injuries including haemorrhage in the brain and eyes.
It stated that these were most likely caused by a condition known as the “shaken baby syndrome”.
In mitigation, the man’s lawyer, S Balamurugan told the court that his client “did not set out to hurt” the infant and that he “only wanted” her to fall asleep.
Mr Balamurugan added that the man has “always been” a loving father towards his children.
He resorted to carrying the infant and rocking her to sleep as he could not “afford a baby cradle swing.”
The man had also rocked his older child in a similar manner on previous occasions “without any adverse consequences”.
The man has another daughter who is now two years old.
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, the man’s wife said that she hopes the man will “turn over a new leaf” when he is released from prison.
When queried if she has forgiven her husband, she said that it was a “very difficult question” to answer and that she has to “move on with her life”.
She also asked reporters not to reveal her name as well as those of her family members.
For committing the crime, the man could have been sentenced to up to five years’ jail, fined, or both.
Source: Channelnewasia, 12th July 2010