SINGAPORE – A woman accused of killing her two-year-old daughter, whose remains were found inside a metal pot five years after the alleged crime, has been temporarily let off the hook for murder.
The 32-year-old was granted on Tuesday (March 2) a discharge not amounting to an acquittal for her murder charge.
A discharge not amounting to an acquittal means that she can still be prosecuted for the offence later, depending on the evidence that emerges.
The woman is still facing 12 additional charges, including multiple counts of abuse involving four other children. Her case is expected to be heard again on April 13.
She and her 33-year-old husband were charged in September 2019 for killing their daughter in a Chin Swee Road flat in March 2014. The toddler’s remains were found in the pot in 2019.
They cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the children’s identities.
The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) said in a statement last month that the other four children are the woman’s.
As for the father, the AGC had said it would be proceeding on the murder charge against him.
He faces 13 other charges, including child abuse, perverting the course of justice by disposing of and concealing the dead girl’s body, giving false information to a public servant on her whereabouts, and drug consumption.
When the girl died, the woman and her husband allegedly burnt her body before concealing the remains inside a metal pot. This was further encased in a sealed box and kept under the kitchen stove in the flat, according to court documents.
The woman is accused of ill-treating the girl as well as two of her other children between 2013 and 2014.
Among other things, she allegedly hit them with a belt and a hanger. She is said to have fed her two-year-old daughter and another child chilli padi and garlic as punishment.
The woman is also accused of ill-treating the girl in March 2014 by failing to provide the toddler with adequate medical aid, even though there was a medical emergency. Details of the emergency were not disclosed in the court documents.
She allegedly ill-treated her surviving four children by leaving them inside the flat without adult supervision, as well as adequate food and water, from Feb 8 to 9, 2018.
She is also said to have lied to a Ministry of Education liaison officer in 2017 before giving false information to two Ministry of Social and Family Development officers the following year.
This article was first published in The Straits Times .