Maid poured oil into two packets of breast milk to 'scare' employer

Unhappy at being reprimanded by her employer, an Indonesian domestic worker poured some eucalyptus oil into two packets of breast milk to "scare'' her. -- PHOTO: ST GRAPHIC
Unhappy at being reprimanded by her employer, an Indonesian domestic worker poured some eucalyptus oil into two packets of breast milk to "scare'' her. -- PHOTO: ST GRAPHIC

SINGAPORE - Unhappy at being reprimanded by her employer, an Indonesian domestic worker poured some eucalyptus oil into two packets of breast milk to "scare'' her.

The 28-year-old maid was scolded earlier on Aug 23 last year by her 34-year-old female employer for not having done the housework. She was unhappy and hoped the employer would terminate her work permit and repatriate her.

She found a bottle of eucalyptus oil and poured some of it into the breast milk. She sealed up the packets and placed them back in the outermost part of the refrigerator, knowing that her employer would likely to take them out first to feed her two-month-old baby boy.

On Tuesday, the accused pleaded guilty to attempting to administer an unwholesome thing to the baby, knowing it to be likely that she would cause hurt to the infant.

The maid is not being named to protect the identity of the victim.

A district court heard that her employer, a manager, would pump milk from her breast, store them in disposable packets and place them in the fridge. She would feed her baby with two to three packets every day.

The maid was left alone at home when she committed the offence. She was employed on June 2, about three months before.

When the family returned that evening, the victim's mother pumped milk and was intending to top up the packets of breast milk when she opened the first packet and smelt a pungent odour.

Sensing that something was amiss, she decided to check the remaining five packets of milk in the fridge. Another packet had the same pungent smell.

Later that evening, the couple searched the maid's belongings and found a bottle of PurerAire Eucalyptus oil placed on top of a cabinet. They opened the bottle and found that it had the same pungent smell as the packets of breast milk.

They called the police, who came and arrested the accused.

The accused, who was not represented, pleaded for leniency, saying she was remorseful and would not repeat the offence.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Delicia Tan sought a short adjournment to tender precedents.

The accused will be sentenced on Jan 15. She faces up to five years' jail and a fine.

elena@sph.com.sg