A relief teacher was sentenced to three months' jail and fined $3,000 by a district judge on Monday after he bullied a nine-year-old autistic pupil by throwing a volleyball on his head and threatening to put him in a cage during a physical education class. The convict also locked up the boy in a room where lights and fans were switched off.
During the court hearing, the man pleaded guilty to one charge each of child abuse and wrongful confinement of the boy.
The name of the 33-year-old convict is still kept under the wraps to protect the identity of the victim. During the hearing, the convict informed the court that he could have committed the crime due to the frustrations associated with his marital life.
The public prosecutor informed the court that the autistic victim was affected very badly by his teacher's behavior. The court heard that the boy who is ten-years-old was affected by the incident even after five months, and has dreamt many times that the teacher is trying to harm him.
Defense lawyer S Balamurugan urged the court to reduce the punishment of the convict stating that the status of his marital relationship has been reducing since 2016 which made him distracted and worried at work. The defense lawyer also added that the man was a very committed teacher who had a great track record. As per the defense lawyer, no other students apart from the autistic kid had complained about the teacher.
However, district judge Kenneth Yap informed the defense lawyer that the act of the relief teacher was against a pupil with special needs whose emotional scars are very serious. The judge also added that the teacher has set a bad example to the victim's classmates.
The school has since terminated the teacher from his service.