KEY POINTS

  • The woman injected her son with insulin on at least 13 occasions
  • The offenses took place between January and July 2019
  • She was sentenced to five years in jail Wednesday

A mother has been jailed in Singapore after she pleaded guilty to injecting her son with insulin as the 7-year-old boy resembled her brother who raped her when she was a child.

The 29-year-old woman, who remains unnamed due to a gag order, was sentenced to five years in jail Wednesday after pleading guilty to injecting insulin into the boy on at least 13 occasions over a seven-month period.

The woman was sexually abused when she was between 9 and 12 years old while living with her parents and three brothers. The accused brother, who was 13 years old at the time of the abuse, was sent to jail. Despite this, however, her relationship with her mother deteriorated after the incident, reported The Straits Times.

The unnamed woman also accused her father of raping her but it was not proven during the investigations.

The woman later ran away from her family and got married. She lived with her husband, their two daughters and their son. In September 2018, she became angry when she learned that her brother was leading a normal life by getting married and having a child. She then decided to set her entire family on fire and kill herself.

However, she wanted to give her son a "peaceful death" so she decided to inject him with insulin. Meanwhile, she also started to hate her son as the boy reminded her of the brother who violated her, Channel News Asia said in a report.

The woman searched online for "peaceful" ways to die and found out that injecting high doses of insulin would cause one's blood sugar to crash, leading to brain damage, coma or even death. She then bought insulin pens from Malaysia and learned how to use them by watching YouTube videos.

The court heard that the woman had injected the boy with high doses of insulin between January and July 2019. The boy reportedly suffered severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, double vision, tinnitus, photosensitivity and numbness in the fingers. He was also hospitalized three times with low blood sugar and hypoglycemic seizure.

During a hospital visit in July 2019, a therapist who spoke to the boy found out about the insulin injections given to him by his mother. The hospital reported the incident to the police and the woman was arrested.

A psychiatric evaluation revealed that the woman had a major depressive disorder of moderate severity and also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. She was also diagnosed with Munchausen syndrome by proxy. According to Michigan Medicine, it is a disorder in which a person makes up or causes an ailment or injury in an individual under their care.

But although her disorders contributed to the crime, she was not of unsound mind at the time and knew what she was doing, mental health reports also indicated.

"The court is not sentencing a cold-blooded woman today, who cannot move on from her past, but a victim whose trauma has caught up with her," Ng Pei Qi, defense lawyer, told the court, describing the case as "a tragic backlash of years of untreated trauma."

The judge noted that the conduct of the woman was "clearly reprehensible" even though her mental disorders have substantially impaired the mental responsibility for the acts.

gavel-2492011_640 (2) Gavel Photo: Pixabay