SINGAPORE - A Filipino maid who pinched a two-year-old boy on various parts of his body for nearly a year was on Thursday (June 23) jailed for six months.
Fajardo Elizabeth Esquiral, 26, pleaded guilty to one charge of ill-treating the child by physically abusing him and causing him unnecessary pain.
A district court heard that Fajardo was hired in July 2013 by a woman who was a single, working mother.
The maid's primary task was to look after the woman's two sons, now aged three and nine. They cannot be named to protect the children's identities.
Fajardo slept in the same bedroom as the younger child. The older son, the court heard, was mischievous but whenever Fajardo got upset, she would pinch the younger boy as he was unlikely to report her actions.
In January (2016), when the mother found multiple scars and wounds all over her son's body and limbs, she took him to hospital. Later at home, Fajardo admitted that she was responsible for them.
Fajardo admitted to pinching the boy for about 10 months, between March last year and January this year.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Claire Poh asked for six months' jail, noting the long period of abuse and extent of ill-treatment. She submitted photos of the boy's injuries to the court.
In mitigation, Fajardo told the court through a Tagalog interpreter, in between sobs, that she was the sole breadwinner of her family and had elderly parents and younger siblings back home to support.
Principal District Judge Bala Reddy said: "The victim was defenceless and could not complain and had to endure all the pain that (Fajardo) had caused." He agreed with the jail term that the prosecution had asked for.
Fajardo could have been fined $4,000 and jailed for four years.