SINGAPORE – She was singing before she walked over to the toddler and kicked him in the head.
The 41-year-old Filipino maid, who cannot be named, to protect the identity of the two-year-old victim, also used a metal spoon to repeatedly hit the boy on the mouth, causing him to cry so she could feed him when his mouth was open.
On Thursday (July 1), she was jailed for 13 months after pleading guilty to two charges of ill-treating a child.
Another similar charge was taken into consideration for sentencing.
The maid had care over her employer’s two young sons, and had apparently abused them daily when their parents were not around.
The court heard that her offences came to light only after a maid for another family managed to record the abuse on her phone and sent them to the woman’s employer.
In one video, taken on May 11 last year, the maid was seen kicking the victim in the stomach twice while she was carrying his one-year-old brother.
In another video, taken just five days later, on May 16, she was seen hitting the child repeatedly on the mouth with a metal spoon while feeding him porridge.
She had done so after he refused to open his mouth, hitting him with the back of the spoon so he would cry and she could shove more porridge in.
The video caught her hitting him in this manner at least three times, causing him to spit out porridge at one point.
The maid who recorded the video had seen this happen on multiple occasions, and had tried to get her to stop.
In a third video, taken on May 20, four days after the second incident, the maid was singing along to a song on her phone when the younger boy started crying after the victim took a toy away from him.
She walked over to them and pinched the victim’s ear, causing him to cry also.
But as he sat on the ground crying and looking up at her, she kicked him on his forehead.
The videos were sent to the employer the following month and a police report was made.
The victim was taken to hospital where he was found to have suffered a list of injuries, including scratches and bruises on his arms, legs and back.
On Thursday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Sheryl Yeo urged the court to jail the maid for 13 months.
She said the maid had assaulted the two boys numerous times a day on a daily basis.
Addressing the court through an interpreter, the maid said she was under stress at the time, and wanted leniency as she has three children of her own depending on her.
But DPP Yeo said the court should not give any weight to her claims of stress, which had no recognisable link to the abuse she subjected the two boys to.
District Judge Ronald Gwee backdated the sentence to June 4. The maid had been in remand since then.
For each count of ill-treatment of a child, she could have been jailed for up to eight years, or fined up to $8,000, or both.
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