4 months' jail for maid who abused kids
AN INDONESIAN domestic worker kicked the thigh of her employer's 23-month-old daughter for refusing to finish her food and slapped the back of their baby boy when he started crying while she was feeding him.
Yesterday, Khaerun Nisa Selfitriya was sentenced to four months' jail for ill-treating the children in a flat in Woodlands on Oct 14 last year.
The 28-year-old's employer at the time had installed a closed-circuit television (CCTV) at home after noticing scratch marks on his daughter's arms in May last year, after the maid started working for the family.
A district court heard that on Oct 14, Khaerun Nisa was feeding the children when the girl refused to finish her food.
When she told the girl to finish her food, the toddler vomited and started to cry. Khaerun Nisa then kicked her on the left thigh forcefully, causing her to fall and hit her head.
Further investigation showed that about 10 minutes earlier, she was feeding the eight-month-old baby when he started crying. She shouted: "No!" and slapped his back several times.
Both incidents were captured on the CCTV. The children's father, 29, lodged a police report the next day.
When questioned about her relationship with her employers, Khaerun Nisa told the police that she had been treated well and was even taken to China for a holiday.
But her lawyer, Nasser Ismail, said the maid, who has four daughters aged three to 11, was derided by her employers for no reason and became paranoid and depressed.
He said she was "depressed, scared and confused" at the time of the offence and missed her children, especially the three-year-old, as she had not heard any news from them since she started work.
"The accused admitted that she had reached a breaking point when she lost her mind on that fateful day," he said.
Mr Nasser also told the court that his client had never intended to harm the children and had not harmed them.
He said the baby boy was choking on his food and so she used her left hand to "slap'' him on the back a few times.
Khaerun Nisa, whose sentence was backdated to Oct 16, could have been fined up to $4,000 and jailed for up to four years on each charge.
The children's father, who has hired a new maid for the family, told The Straits Times yesterday: "Of course, I want justice to be served but I don't want to dwell on how long she got sentenced. It doesn't matter how long she is sentenced for. As long as my kids are fine, that's all that matters.
"I will let go of this case and move on. My kids are also much better emotionally. They are not traumatised and they are very happy now."
Additional reporting by Lim Yi Han