Yea Ping Chan, 42, and Foo Khong Heow, 49, from Lewisham, south London, were sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court today. Chan and Heow adopted a six-year-old girl and had a three-year-old girl and a seven-year-old boy in their care. When police carried out a welfare check at their home they found the three-year-old child covered head to toe in bruises, and her left arm twice the size of her right.
The child had extreme bruising to both her cheeks and was forced to wear winter gloves to cover her injured hands. Chan was asked why the child’s face was bruised, to which she replied that that had sucked on her face as part of a prayer ritual. She then demonstrated by sucking on the back of her own hand.
Chan was asked why the child was wearing gloves and she told officers it was because she bites her nails. The two older children were then asked what happened to the three-year-old’s face and they said Chan had punished her because she was biting her fingernails and toenails.
They were asked who punishes them with the sucking, to which they said that sometimes Heow does it, but on this occasion Chan had caused the injuries. The house contained an extensive CCTV system which was seized by police, who found 170 hours of damning footage.
It revealed a catalogue of abuse on all three children, however the main victim was the three-year-old. The footage showed the youngest child being assaulted on almost a daily basis. Many of the assaults would happen during the night, with Chan dragging the three-year-old out of bed by her hair and subjecting her to up to seven hours of abuse. This would include biting, sucking, pushing, shaking and hitting her with implements repeatedly.
Chan is seen to put a cloth into the victim’s mouth while assaulting her and sitting on top of her body. When the victim was not being assaulted, she was made to stand and squat continuously. Heow was seen to force his feet into the three-year-old’s mouth.
He also violently hit the three-year-old and six-year-old with a stick. As the pair were arrested, the children were taken to A&E to have their injuries assessed.
They were then taken into police protection and placed in foster care. It was noted by doctors that the three-year-old had 54 injuries which the doctor documented as non-accidental injuries. The pair pleaded guilty to the charges of child cruelty. Chan was jailed for four years and two months, while Heow was sentenced to three years and four months in prison.