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Guess?? Man jailed for causing death of 4-year-old son by forcing chilli into his mouth for discipline



Man jailed for causing death of 4-year-old son by forcing chilli into his mouth for discipline​

The man wanted to discipline his son - who was being toilet trained - for lying that he had not defecated.
Man jailed for causing death of 4-year-old son by forcing chilli into his mouth for discipline

File photo of the State Courts of Singapore. (Photo: CNA/Jeremy Long)
30 May 2024 11:06AM(Updated: 30 May 2024 11:30AM)

SINGAPORE: Unhappy that his four-year-old son was lying about defecating, a man forced the tip of a chilli into the boy's mouth to discipline him.
The object became lodged in the boy's airway, and he choked to death despite his father carrying him to a nearby clinic.

The 38-year-old Singaporean man was sentenced to eight months' jail on Thursday (May 30) for one count of a rash act causing death.

Before the full case proceedings began, the defence lawyer appointed by the Public Defender's Office (PDO) successfully asked for a gag order to cover the victim and the accused, citing the man's other children.

The court heard that the man lived in a flat with his wife and four children, including the victim.


On Aug 2, 2022, the family was home when the father noticed that the victim smelt of faeces.

The boy was going through toilet training at the time and was supposed to tell his parents if he needed to relieve himself.

When the father questioned the boy, the boy denied relieving himself. The man then decided to discipline the boy for lying by making him eat chilli.
He broke off a small piece of chilli he retrieved.

The boy was lying on the floor and refused to eat it.

The man then sat on a chair over the boy and forced the tip of the chilli into his mouth, releasing it when he felt it move past the boy's teeth.
The boy started running around, gesturing at his throat.

After a short while, he collapsed.

The boy's mother performed the Heimlich manoeuvre on him, but the boy's condition did not improve.

The father then asked his wife to call for an ambulance and to check if they could rush the boy to a nearby clinic first.
When given the green light, the man carried his son in his arms and ran to a nearby family clinic.

The doctor saw that the boy was not breathing and had no pulse. He got his employees to call for an ambulance and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the child.

Despite rescue efforts, the boy could not be saved. He was pronounced dead at about 3.10pm at Sengkang General Hospital.

An autopsy confirmed that the cause of death was "acute airway obstruction by foreign body".
A piece of chilli, measuring 10mm by 15mm by 8mm was firmly lodged in the boy's airway.


The prosecutor sought nine to 12 months' jail.

PDO lawyer Taufiq Suraidi asked for seven months' jail for his client, saying his client's degree of rashness in this case "cannot be said to be high".
"We have testimonials from his wife and family that he is a loving father to all his children," said the lawyer.

"He is a devoted family-oriented man and places the interests of his children above his own."

He added that his client was also "not an abusive father" based on the family testimonials and the autopsy which showed no other signs of abuse other than the chilli lodged in the boy's airway.

The lawyer added that his client had "taken precaution" by not forcing the entire chilli into his son's mouth.

Instead, he put "a small part of it" and stopped once he felt the chilli had passed his son's teeth.

"All this shows that his sole intention in disciplining his son was only to teach him that lying is not a behaviour that should be carried out," said Mr Taufiq.

He added that his client's "guilt and remorse is immense". He was diagnosed with major depressive disorder after the incident and had suicidal ideations.
"This is something he will have to live with for the rest of his life," said the lawyer. "Nevertheless, I submit that the law must have its way. He has learnt most painfully from this incident and is unlikely to re-offend."

Since the incident, the man and his family have attended many family programmes and learnt coping strategies and parenting skills, said the lawyer.
District Judge Ong Hian Sun said this was "indeed a sad case".
"It could have been prevented if you did not adopt such a method to discipline your child," said the judge. "This method of disciplining a vulnerable victim, or any such method ... should be discouraged ... at all costs."