Maid jailed 3 months for burying her dead baby in employer's backyard

Musliyati, 37, an Indonesian maid who buried the body of her new-born in the backyard of her employer's house in Serangoon Gardens was jailed for three months on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
Musliyati, 37, an Indonesian maid who buried the body of her new-born in the backyard of her employer's house in Serangoon Gardens was jailed for three months on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

An Indonesian maid who buried the body of her new-born in the backyard of her employer's house in Serangoon Gardens was jailed for three months on Tuesday.

A district court heard that Musliyati, 37, had suspected she was pregnant in October last year and bought three pills believed to be contraceptives from a pedlar in Geylang.

On the night of Nov 6, she swallowed one pill and inserted the other two into her private parts. The next night, she felt pain in her stomach. At 1am on Nov 8, she gave birth while using a squatting toilet in her employer's home in Brighton Avenue. She scooped the baby out of the toilet bowl and tore off the umbilical cord. She told investigators that the baby was not moving or crying.

She cleaned the toilet and rested in the kitchen till 5am. She then wrapped the body in a blanket and placed it in a black plastic bag before burying it in the backyard.

The next day, her employer called for an ambulance as Musliyati appeared to be very weak and she was then sent to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

A doctor at the hospital noticed the remnants of the torn umbilical cord and informed her employer, who called the police to report the missing baby. Police officers found some bloodstained clothes and towels in a pail in the kitchen and had to rely on a police dog to find the buried body.

The autopsy report prepared by Dr George Paul, a consultant forensic pathologist at the Health Sciences Authority, indicated that the foetus was between eight and nine months and that it was difficult to ascertain whether it was a case of live birth or still birth.

Investigations also revealed that Musliyati had previously worked here from 2010 to 2012. A few days before returning here to work for her employer in March last year, she had unprotected sex with her boyfriend in Indonesia.

She tested negative in the urine pregnancy test during the medical check-up by Dr Choo Hock Leong of the Stamford Medical Group on March 21.

She was later involved in a relationship with 39-year-old Jaman Kuning from April to October last year. She would have sex with the Malaysian in a Geylang hotel on her days off and she would consume some pills that she believed were contraceptives.

She told police investigators that she did not think she was pregnant because she continued to have menstruation. However, she would don corsets and loose clothes to hide her extra weight.

The maximum penalty for secretly disposing the dead body of a child and concealing its birth is a two-year jail term and a $10,000 fine.

khush@sph.com.sg