4 weeks' jail for maid who hit bedridden elderly woman with dementia

SINGAPORE - A maid, who grew annoyed and tired over taking care of a bedridden woman with dementia, used tissue paper to wipe her in a rough manner.

She then hit the 74-year-old on her face.

Siti Farihah, 41, was sentenced to four weeks' jail on Tuesday (July 26) after she pleaded guilty to a charge of voluntarily causing hurt to a vulnerable victim.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Yong said in court documents that the Indonesian was employed by a 43-year-old Singaporean who is the victim's son.

The elderly woman lived in Lorong Ah Soo, together with his family.

On Feb 14 this year, at about noon, the man was in his bedroom when he heard his mother shouting for his wife. At that time, only he, his mother and Siti were at home.

He rushed out and saw his mother seated upright on a chair in the living room and Siti feeding her rice.

"The (man) went to check on the victim and observed that there was redness around her right cheek and lips," said DPP Chong.

The man asked his mother what happened and she said Siti had hit her.

He retrieved footage recorded by a closed-circuit television camera placed in the living room and called the police the next day.

Investigations revealed that in the moments before the elderly woman called for her son's wife, her hand had been wiped by Siti with a piece of tissue paper in a rough manner.

Siti then threw the piece of tissue paper at the victim, climbed on her and also wiped her face in a rough manner.

Shortly after, she hit the right side of the victim's face.

The victim sought treatment at Sengkang General Hospital on Feb 15 this year, and bruising on her right cheek was found.

DPP Chong said: "During investigations, the accused informed police that her actions against the victim were borne out of frustration and fatigue from having to take care of the victim."

For each count of voluntarily causing hurt, Siti could have been jailed for three years, fined $5,000, or both. The maximum sentence can be doubled for crimes against vulnerable victims.

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