Indonesian maid gets one week's jail for feeding scalding hot milk to two-year-old

SINGAPORE - An Indonesian maid was jailed for one week on Friday for feeding scalding hot milk to her employer's child, without first checking the temperature of the milk.

Tri Septiana, 24, admitted causing hurt to the two-year-old twin by committing a negligent act that endangers life on Sept 4 this year.

A court heard that the victim and his twin brother were left alone with the domestic worker in a Bukit Batok flat when his grandmother went to the market with his older sister that day.

At about noon, Tri Septiana went to the kitchen to prepare milk for the victim, who was crying. She failed to test the temperature of the hot milk before she fed it to him.

After the first mouthful, the victim spat the milk out of his mouth and it dripped down his neck.

When the grandmother returned home, Tri Septiana told her that the other twin had bitten the victim on the tongue.

Upon closer inspection, the grandmother realised that the victim had blisters and red scald marks on the right side of his mouth and neck.

Tri Septiana said the other twin had scratched the victim but the grandmother did not believe her.

The maid then confessed that she had given the victim hot milk.

The victim was warded in hospital for six days for scalding and other injuries.

Lawyer Nasser Ismail said in mitigation that Tri Septiana, who has a three-year-old daughter back home in Indonesia, started working for the family in June. She could not cope with the very heavy chores plus looking after three young children, including the victim.

Her female employer always called her stupid and derided her for no reason, he said.

He added that Tri Septiana was very depressed, scared and confused at the time of the offence and admitted that she reached a breaking point when she lost concentration that day.

The lawyer also said she had been distracted by the other twin, who is very active, and had forgotten to test how hot the milk was before trying to feed the victim.

Tri Septiana, who has been remanded since Sept 6, could have been jailed for up to one year and/or fined up to $2,500.