Father Guilty of Causing Son’s Death by Force-Feeding Chili

Child Dies After Being Forced by His Father to Eat Chili

SINGAPORE – A father pleaded guilty to causing the death of his young son by force-feeding him a piece of chili as punishment for lying.

The incident occurred on August 2, 2022, at their home. The father noticed a smell and realized his son had soiled his clothes, instructing him to confess when he needed to use the toilet. When the child denied this, the father took a piece of chili from the refrigerator, cut a small portion, and attempted to make his son eat it. Despite the child’s refusal and attempts to resist while lying on the floor, the father forcibly inserted the chili into his mouth, causing the child to choke and collapse.

Efforts by the mother to perform emergency procedures failed, and the child was rushed to a clinic but pronounced dead shortly after arrival at Sengkang General Hospital. An autopsy confirmed the cause of death as acute airway obstruction due to the chili lodged in the child’s throat.

During sentencing in May 30, 2024, the father received an eight-month jail term, with the court withholding their identities for privacy, especially for the victim’s three younger siblings. The prosecution sought a twelve-month sentence, arguing against any mitigation due to the severity of the incident. However, the defense emphasized the father’s remorse and mental health struggles post-incident, citing testimonials portraying him as a caring and devoted family man.

In his remarks, the judge expressed sadness over the tragedy and admonished the father for his punitive approach, stressing the need to discourage such methods of discipline, particularly against vulnerable victims. The defense lawyer underscored that the father’s actions stemmed from a misguided attempt to teach his son a lesson about honesty, exacerbated by the father’s mental health condition.

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