A father, who allegedly choked his baby to death two years ago because he was so engrossed in a mobile phone game, was recently given a six-month prison sentence by a court in Singapore.
Mohamed Shiddiq Sazali reportedly caused his 3½-month-old daughter’s death as he was feeding her with milk with one hand and playing a game on his mobile phone in the other. A few weeks before the incident, he had earlier dropped his daughter accidentally, sending the baby to the hospital, where she had to be treated for a broken skull, reports Straits Times.
On Monday, District Judge Carol Ling sentenced the 28-year-old father to six months jail time for the infant’s death and a concurrent three months’ jail sentence for “causing grievous hurt to the child by doing a negligent act to endanger her personal safety.”
According to Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Stephanie Koh the daughter died on Oct 12, 2015, after the father “prioritized his mobile phone game over the welfare of the baby.” Sazali was reportedly playing a mobile game when his girlfriend at the time, Nurraishah Mahzan, left home and entrusted him to momentarily take care of the baby.
Sazali held the baby in his lap and used one hand to hold the milk bottle to her mouth while using the other hand to continue playing his video game.
“While this in itself falls short of the appropriate level of care, it is further aggravated by the fact that the accused was not even looking at the deceased as he fed her,” Koh was quoted as saying. “He was looking at his phone, on the left side of the bed, while he held the deceased on his right side.”
Koh pointed out how Shiddiq exhibited a blatant disregard for the signs of distress shown by the baby who, at one point during feeding, began fidgeting and rejecting the bottle. Despite the baby’s reaction, he held the bottle to her mouth until she eventually choked on the milk.
A forensic pathologist explained that keeping the milk bottle in the baby’s mouth in an extended period might have resulted in the blocking of her breathing.
“The accused showed a general irresponsible and lax attitude towards his caregiving duties,” Koh noted.
The court also heard a separate incident on Aug 26, also in 2015, when Shiddiq dropped the baby on her head as he reportedly bent down to pick up a pacifier at the ground floor of an HDB block in Buangkok Crescent. The father reportedly failed to support the baby’s head as she fell backward, causing her to suffer a broken skull.
In Singapore, the maximum penalty for causing death by negligence is two years imprisonment and a fine. For the “grievous hurt” charge, the court could have added up to two years in prison plus a fine up to $5,000.