SINGAPORE - An Indonesian maid kicked her employer's 23-month-old daughter when the toddler refused to finish her food.
For this, Khaerun Nisa Selfitriya, 28, was sentenced to four months' jail on Monday (Jan 4). She pleaded guilty to ill-treating her employer's daughter as well as slapping the girl's eight-month-old brother on his back multiple times at a flat in Woodlands on Oct 14 last year.
The court heard that her 28-year-old employer started noticing scratch marks on his daughter's arms in May last year. This was when he employed Khaerun Nisa to work.
He decided to instal a closed-circuit TV camera at his home that was linked to his mobile phone to keep an eye on the household.
On Oct 14, Khaerun Nisa was feeding the children when the girl refused to finish her food.
When she told the girl to finish her food, the toddler started to vomit and cry. Khaerun Nisa then kicked her on the left thigh forcefully, causing the girl to fall and hit her head.
Further investigation showed that about 10 minutes earlier, she was feeding the baby when he started crying. She shouted "No!'' and slapped his back multiple times.
Both incidents were captured on CCTV. The father lodged a police report the next day.
When questioned about her relationship with her employers, Khaerun told police that she had been treated well, and was even taken to China for a holiday.
But her lawyer Nasser Ismail said the maid, who has four daughters aged three to 11, was derided by her employers for no reason, and became paranoid and depressed.
He said she was "depressed, scared and confused'' at the time of the offence and missed her children as she had not had any news from home since she started work.
"The accused admitted that she had reached a breaking point when she lost her mind on that fateful day,'' he said.
Mr Nasser further told the court his client had never intended to or harmed the children.
Khaerun Nisa, whose sentence was backdated to Oct 16, could have been fined up to $4,000 and jailed for up to four years on each charge.