DUBAI // A man who was convicted of beating his 12-year-old son to death because he was not doing his school homework has won a reduced jail term on appeal.
The Nigerian father, 37, was sentenced to 10 years in jail by Dubai Criminal Court in February but on Wednesday morning his jail term was reduced to just three years at Dubai Court of Appeal.
The body of his son arrived at Zulekha Hospital in Al Qusais in the early hours of April 19 last year.
Police were called after a physical examination of the boy triggered suspicion that he may have been beaten and a post-mortem examination later showed he died as a result of internal bleeding.
An Emirati police lieutenant told prosecutors that when he arrived at the hospital he saw the boy’s hysterical father.
“I asked him what happened and he told me he gave the boy milk, after which he started vomiting and complaining from pains in the stomach and, when his condition worsened, he brought him to hospital,” said the 27-year-old officer.
A coroner’s report stated that his death was caused by internal bleeding as a result of a blow to the abdomen.
A 52-year-old Pakistani woman who worked as the boy’s private tutor for almost a month told the criminal court that she had noticed bruises on his face and body.
“At first he told me he fell off the table. He then confessed he had been beaten by his father,” said the tutor.
“When the boy was a student at school, I informed the administration of my suspicion that his father physically abuses him. The supervisor contacted his father who said he just wanted his son to be among the excellent students because he pays all his money on his education.”
A security guard at the building where the family lived testified that the father often took his son to the swimming pool when no one was around and would beat him.
“On Thursday, April 16, I saw him holding his son’s head and pushing it underwater as if he was trying to drown him. When I asked what he was doing, he said he was just teaching him to swim,” said the 37-year-old Indian, who added that the father continued pushing his son’s head under for nearly 15 minutes, as the boy begged and cried.
“He always had bruises on his body and would often say he fell or injured himself while playing.”
The Emirati coroner said a post-mortem examination showed the boy suffered from damage to the intestines as well as internal bleeding in the abdomen.
“He should have been referred to hospital earlier, which may have saved his life but also may not have due to the severity of his injuries,” said the 35-year-old coroner.
He said other bruises on the boy’s body were caused by kicking, beating and punching. He added that the boy also suffered fractured ribs caused by someone sitting or standing on his chest.
The father had brought his son from Nigeria to the UAE a year before his death.
Police said the boy had been searching online for help to treat his stomach pains. A sentence reading “help, I got hit on my stomach” was found on his iPad.
It was also revealed after a DNA test that the defendant was not the boy’s biological father.
The man underwent a psychiatric evaluation that ruled he was aware of his actions.
In court last October, he denied a charge of premeditated murder.
He will be deported after serving his three-year term.
Source: uae news