SINGAPORE - A Filipino maid vented her frustrations from her personal life on her employer's youngest child, a baby boy, by hitting his face and feet.
The offence came to light when the 38-year-old domestic worker's employer viewed the live feeds of closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage on her mobile phone, wanting to see if her baby was awake.
The employer, a 39-year-old housewife with four children, saw the accused being violent to her baby on April 25. She made a police report five days later.
On Wednesday (Oct 26), the accused was jailed for two months after pleading guilty to slapping the four-month- old once, using her index finger to push his face forcefully, slapping the soles of his feet and pushing him against the sofa, and shoving a towel in front of his mouth.
She cannot be named, so as to protect the identity of the victim.
Investigations showed the employer had left her baby in the accused's care at home while she took her daughter to a tuition class. The baby was asleep when they left.
While still out, the employer decided to view the live feeds on her mobile phone and witnessed her son being abused.
The accused admitted to subjecting the victim to physical abuse because she was taking out her frustrations on him.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Samuel Koh, who sought a jail sentence of two to three months, said she had abused the trust placed on her as a caregiver. She had vented her frustrations at the victim by ill-treating him even though the baby's parents, for whom she had worked for three years, had treated her very well.
DPP Koh said the accused had hit the defenceless baby on the vulnerable parts of his body, carrying out a series of distinct acts in quick succession.
Pleading for leniency, the maid said she is deeply remorseful and sought forgiveness from the court and her former employers.
"I committed this offence as I was under a lot of stress during that time due to some marital problem that I had with my husband," said the mother of four.
District Judge Low Wee Ping said a deterrent sentence is necessary to protect the very young and the elderly from abuse by caregivers.
The maximum penalty for the offence is a $4,000 fine and four years' jail.