Maid jailed 16 weeks for ill-treating employer's kid

Atmi Sana Sulaeman ill-treated the 10-month-old boy after his cries woke her twice.
Atmi Sana Sulaeman ill-treated the 10-month-old boy after his cries woke her twice.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

An Indonesian domestic worker who was awoken by a crying baby grabbed the 10-month-old boy by the leg and dragged him forcefully towards her on the mattress they were sharing.

Atmi Sana Sulaeman ill-treated the child twice on the night of June 22. Her actions were caught on a closed-circuit television camera installed by her employer in the child's bedroom.

Her employer, who cannot be named because of a court order, made a police report on June 29. He said he had video evidence of the maid abusing the baby at the family's home in Woodlands.

The court heard that Atmi was awoken by the victim's cries at about 2am on June 22. She got up to get a fresh diaper, then grabbed the baby's left leg and dragged him towards her.

About two hours later, she was again awoken by the infant.

She turned to her side, grabbed him roughly by his arm and flung him back on the mattress.

She grabbed his arm a second time to lift him up and rearrange his head on the pillow.

Earlier, on June 19, after feeding the child, Atmi flung him back on the mattress. However, no injuries were found on him when he was examined by a doctor.

Atmi admitted to three of five charges of ill-treating the child by wilfully carrying out an act which was likely to cause him unnecessary physical pain, suffering or injury.

Sentencing her to 16 weeks' jail, District Judge Kessler Soh told the mother of two that what she did was wrong. "I note that you are sorry for what you have done, and I am happy to note that. But it is a very serious thing to abuse a child, even when you are tired.

"You have your own children. I am sure that is not how you want to treat them. I hope you learn from this and when you take care of a child, you must exercise more patience, understand?" he said, as she nodded .

In her written mitigation plea, she said she would not repeat her actions. Atmi, who had her sentence backdated to when she was taken into remand on July 1, could have been fined up to $4,000 and/or jailed for up to four years on each charge.

Elena Chong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2016, with the headline 'Maid jailed 16 weeks for ill-treating employer's kid'. Print Edition | Subscribe