Woman pleads for leniency in child abuse case

A woman who admits assaulting her children by pouring boiling water over them has pleaded for leniency in court, saying she had been under enormous stress as her husband never helped look after the youngsters.

The woman, 37, was not named in the District Court in order to protect the identity of her children.

In mitigation, the defendant’s lawyer said his client had been under a great deal of emotional and physical stress as she was the only person in the family responsible for taking care of the two children, aged seven and 10.

The court was also told that both the woman’s son and daughter suffer from disabilities such as dyskinesia, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The lawyer said the defendant had received no help from her husband, whom she described as “the third child” at home, who was reluctant to go to work and also needed taking care of.

He also claimed that the 37-year-old had committed the abuse only because she was trying to teach the children what hot water felt like, after one of them repeatedly refused to drink a glass of lukewarm water, saying it was “too hot”.

But judge Katherine Lo disagreed that this was a mitigating factor, saying this kind of “teaching” was simply unacceptable.

Lo added that she needs more time to consider the case, and adjourned sentencing until next Tuesday.