SINGAPORE - Over a period of 24 days early this year, a domestic worker abused an elderly wheelchair-bound woman under her care, a court heard.
Sulikah, 27, an Indonesian who goes by one name, was jailed for two years on Wednesday (July 13) after admitting to 10 of 29 charges of hurting 93-year-old Ng Yian Yeo at a flat in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 between Jan 17 and Feb 10 this year.
Madam Ng has advanced dementia, cannot remember recent conversations and events, and is dependent on others for the basic activities of daily living. None of her children lived with her.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Kong Kuek Foo said Madam Ng's two daughters were visiting her on Feb 10 when they found bruises on her left eye and hand. They reviewed footage from the CCTV installed in the living room where Madam Ng's bed was placed, and saw several instances of physical abuse.
A police report was made the following day.
Sulikah, who began taking care of Madam Ng in February 2014, revealed that she started physically abusing the victim early last year. She also admitted that she had previously been told off by Madam Ng's children for treating her roughly, but started abusing her again because she got frustrated when taking care of her.
On Jan 17, after changing Madam Ng's diapers, Sulikah grabbed the woman by the hair and yanked her up to a sitting position on the bed. She then hit the old woman's head several times, lifted her off the bed and dropped her roughly onto a chair beside the bed. She then proceeded to change the sheets during which she shoved the victim's head.
On Jan 29, Sulikah was trying to get Madam Ng onto a rolling shower chair when she grabbed the victim by the hair and yanked her up to a sitting position, kicked her legs before lifting her and dropping her roughly onto the chair. She then slapped her and shoved her head.
On Feb 4, Madam Ng said something to Sulikah who then slapped her on the face. Later, when the helper saw that Madam Ng's leg was not on the footrest of the chair, she kicked her legs repeatedly. After that, she hit the victim on the head.
District Judge Jasvender Kaur said employers who abuse their maids are punished severely and likewise, maids who abuse elderly, disabled people or other such members of the employer's household.
"The repeated acts of abuse were something of a pattern which shows a contemptible and callous disregard for the welfare of the victim,'' she said.
Sulikah could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000 on each charge of causing hurt.