Maid jailed for slapping employer's 16-month-old child

SINGAPORE - An Indonesian domestic worker was jailed for three months on Monday for ill-treating her employer's 16-month-old daughter.

Supriyani, 24, pleaded guilty to slapping the child three times and lifting her up by grabbing her head at a flat in the western part of Singapore on Oct 8 this year.

A district court heard that Supriyani had been working for the employer since May. This was her first job.

That afternoon, the victim's mother left the unit to buy some groceries, leaving maid and child alone.

When the employer returned, Supriyani, who was carrying the child, told her that the victim had bruises under her left eye due to constant rubbing.

She became suspicious when she noticed marks on the victim's left cheek that looked like a handprint.

On viewing CCTV footage, she saw Supriyani slapping the child on the right cheek while feeding the girl, who was strapped in a high chair.

About two minutes later, the maid gave a hard slap on the victim's left cheek and lifted her up from the chair by grabbing her head. She also shook the victim, who began crying but eventually calmed down.

Four minutes later, she again slapped the girl on the right cheek. The child cried so much she vomited.

When this happened, the maid became angry and grabbed the toddler by the head and shook her vigorously.

The mother called her sister who told her to call the police.

District Judge Low Wee Ping, who backdated Supriyani's sentence to Oct 10, told the maid that shaking a child vigorously could result in serious and permanent damage, especially to the brain.

He said it was fortunate that the baby did not suffer any other injuries other than the small red mark under her left lower eyelid.

Supriyani could have been fined up to $4,000 and/or jailed for up four years for ill-treating a child.