SINGAPORE – A maid repeatedly ill-treated two young girls under her care, hitting the children with, among other things, a broom handle and a remote control.
The older girl, who was about six years old at the time and diagnosed with developmental delay, bore most of the abuse. She was found with multiple bruises on her shins and left thigh.
Her younger sister, then four years old, was also ill-treated but a medical check-up showed that she had no gross external injuries.
The maid, a 27-year-old Myanmar national who cannot be named owing to a gag order to protect the girls’ identities, was sentenced on Tuesday (Oct 1) to 14 months’ jail.
She pleaded guilty to six counts of ill-treating a child. Eight other charges for similar offences were considered during sentencing.
The court was told that the abuse began on April 6 last year when the maid was supervising the girls as they were doing some writing exercises at home in the north-western part of Singapore.
The maid became angry with the older girl for reasons that were not disclosed in court documents.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Wei Liang told District Judge Ong Chin Rhu that the woman vented her frustration by slapping the girl’s cheeks, hitting her head with a broom handle and with a mobile phone.
The maid also hit the younger girl’s head with a hard pencil case, a broom handle and a mobile phone.
She was supervising the children again on April 11 last year when she struck the older girl’s head, cheeks and hands at least nine times with a remote control.
The maid targeted the same victim again three days later. This time, she slapped the girl’s left cheek and hit her head with a metal spoon at least 34 times.
The acts of abuse continued on April 19 that year. DPP Lee said that as the maid was teaching the older girl how to write, she lost her patience and repeatedly hit the child’s head with a pencil at least 11 times.
She also forcefully pushed the girl’s head onto a table before using a broom handle to hit the back of the child’s neck.
The court heard that the maid lost her temper with the older girl on April 23 last year when the child refused to eat some food that the woman had prepared. The Myanmar national then hit the girl’s head with her right hand and slapped her.
The maid’s offences came to light when the girls’ mother viewed footage taken from a camera inside the flat and alerted the police.
The Myanmar national, who was unrepresented in court, told Judge Ong on Tuesday that she is “very remorseful”.
Offenders convicted of ill-treating a child can be jailed for up to four years and fined up to $4,000 for each charge.