10 weeks' jail for maid who bit six-month-old boy

A foreign domestic worker who bit the cheek and earlobe of a six-month old boy was yesterday sentenced to 10 weeks' jail - higher than the eight weeks sought by the prosecution.

Myanmar national Mya Pwint Phyu, 24, who pleaded guilty to ill-treating the boy by biting him twice, claimed that it was an "act of love".

But District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim disagreed, saying: "We do not treat babies like that. They are not at an age where they can be disciplined."

The court heard that on Dec 28 last year, the maid was alone with the boy at about 9am in his home, a second-floor unit at 54 Lakeside Drive, while his parents were away at work.

The boy started crying while she was doing household chores.

After trying but failing to pacify him, Mya Pwint Phyu bit him once on his right cheek, and again on his right earlobe in a bid to make him stop crying.

Later that day, the boy's grandfather visited the apartment and noticed bruises and marks on the boy's face. When confronted, the Myanmar national confessed to biting him.

The boy's father made a police report two days later and the child was taken to the National University Hospital on the same day. He was found to have bruises on his right cheek and shoulder, and brown marks on his left cheek, right eye, and left elbow.

A tearful Mya Pwint Phyu said in mitigation: "I would like to go back home as soon as possible."

For ill-treating a child by committing an act likely to cause him unnecessary injury, she could have been jailed for up to four years or fined up to $4,000, or both.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2018, with the headline '10 weeks' jail for maid who bit six-month-old boy'. Print Edition | Subscribe