Man jailed for abusing wheelchair-using mother with dementia

·Senior Reporter
·2-min read
Elderly woman on a wheelchair (PHOTO: Getty Images)
Elderly woman on a wheelchair (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — A man who repeatedly pushed his dementia-stricken mother’s wheelchair against a railing, causing the 84-year-old woman to fall to the ground twice, was jailed four months on Wednesday (14 July).

Ling Heng Soon, 64, was upset at his mother for insisting on going to the ground floor of their housing block after dark.

Ling pleaded guilty to one count of causing hurt to a vulnerable person. His mother is a wheelchair user who suffers from dementia. She requires the help of a domestic helper to shower, eat and change clothes.

On 7 August last year, before 7pm, the maid brought the victim over to the flat to visit Ling. Ling’s wife and son were at work.

At around 7pm, Ling and his mother began arguing. The mother wanted to go to the ground level, but the maid knew that she was not supposed to do so as it was dark. The mother began complaining until Ling instructed the maid to bring her down.

Ling opened the metal gate of the flat and pushed his mother’s wheelchair out, with the maid following behind. He then deliberately and forcibly pushed his mother’s wheelchair towards the staircase railing such that his mother fell onto the ground. He did so to hurt the victim, the prosecution said.

The maid rushed to help the elderly woman back onto the wheelchair, together with Ling.

After the woman was seated, the maid pushed her wheelchair towards her flat, which was on the same level. However, Ling took control of the wheelchair and turned it around. He pushed the wheelchair against the railing again, causing his mother to fall onto the ground a second time. The maid rushed to help her up but left her slippers on the ground.

Ling pulled his mother’s hair twice before taking one of the maid’s slippers and using it to hit his mother’s left hand thrice, with the intention of causing hurt. The maid asked him repeatedly to stop.

Ling later helped his mother back onto the wheelchair and the maid pushed her back to the flat. His wife returned shortly from work.

The next day, the mother complained of pain to Ling’s wife, who saw injuries on her hands and chin. She lodged a police report after the maid told her about the assault.

The victim was examined and found with an abrasion on her chin, and bruising across her limbs. Her right knee’s range of movement was limited.

For voluntarily causing hurt, a person can be jailed up to three years, and/or fined up to $5,000. For hurting a person that he knew was vulnerable, Ling could have been jailed up to twice the maximum penalty for his charge.

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