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July 18, 2003

Deaf mum burns daughter with iron

From: Straits Times, Singapore - Jul 18, 2003

By Selina Lum

FURIOUS that her teenage daughter refused to iron her school uniform, a 41-year-old deaf woman placed a heated iron on the girl's arm.

When her husband chided her, the woman put the iron on her own arm to show him that the iron was not that hot.


The burn on the 14-year-old's arm turned out to be superficial. It did not form blisters and was not infected.

Yesterday, the woman, who has borderline intelligence, was jailed for six weeks after she pleaded guilty to hurting her daughter.

The teenager, a Secondary 3 student, is now under the supervision of a welfare officer.

The court ordered the media not to reveal the names of the teen and her parents, their address, the woman's occupation, and the name of the girl's school.

On the morning of Oct 31 last year, the woman, who was in a hurry to go to work, asked the teen to iron her school uniform, but the girl refused.

She also pushed the ironing board and created a ruckus.

In a fit of anger, the woman placed the heated iron on the girl's left forearm.

When the woman's husband saw this, he hit his wife's thighs with a mop handle and scolded her. The woman then used the iron on herself to show him that it was not that hot.

After the girl finished her classes, she called her child protection officer at the Ministry of Community Development and Sports, who took her to the National University Hospital. A medical examination found the triangular mark of an iron on her arm.

The Deputy Public Prosecutor said that the woman had a history of abuse and that she was taking medication to help control her impulses.

A psychiatric report said that she got frustrated easily when she could not communicate with her family. She also had difficulty disciplining her children. The couple have a younger daughter.

Copyright @ 2003 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.