5 months' jail for maid who repeatedly abused elderly woman with dementia

Eis Atikah (above) repeatedly rapped the elderly woman's head with her fist and pinched her arms in their shared bedroom. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A maid assaulted an elderly woman under her care who was suffering from dementia less than a month after starting work with a household in Choa Chu Kang, a district court heard on Thursday (Jan 9).

Eis Atikah repeatedly rapped 76-year-old Madam Fatimah Kassim's head with her fist and pinched her arms in their shared bedroom.

Eis, 38, committed the offence as she felt frustrated because the elderly woman refused to sleep when she was supposed to.

The Indonesian pleaded guilty on Thursday to an assault charge involving a vulnerable adult and was sentenced to five months' jail.

Madam Fatimah's grandson, IT analyst Mohammad Farhan Mohammad Sam, 32, employed Eis, who started working for his family on May 12 last year.

The maid started abusing the elderly woman soon after that.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Amanda Han told District Judge John Ng: "There were several occasions where the victim did not wish to sleep even though she was supposed to do so, and the lights in the bedroom were already switched off.

"As the accused was already tired by that time, she pinched the victim on both arms several times in frustration.

"There were also occasions where she knocked the victim's head a few times with her fist instead of pinching her."

Madam Fatimah did not retaliate or complain after these acts of abuse.

The court heard that Eis suddenly left the flat without notice on June 12 last year.

The next day, Mr Farhan was helping Madam Fatimah clean up when he noticed a bruise on her right forearm.

He asked his grandmother about it and she said that she had knocked into something.

Later that day, when Mr Farhan was combing her hair, she complained of feeling pain.

After taking a closer look and spotting a bump on the left side of her head, he took her to hospital.

He made a police report on June 14 last year.

Mr Farhan, who was present in court on Thursday, told reporters that he had wanted to find another maid about a week before Eis left the flat as he felt she was "a bit rough" with his grandmother.

He added that Eis later turned up at a maids' dormitory and admitted her offences when confronted.

He has since hired another domestic helper.

Offenders convicted of assaulting a vulnerable adult can be jailed for up to three years and fined up to $7,500.

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