9 months' jail for maid who hit one-month-old baby to 'vent her stress'

SINGAPORE - A domestic helper hit her employer's one-month-old baby three times on his back to "vent her stress".

Indonesian Lana Ngizatul Mona, 26, was caught after the infant's mother viewed a closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of the incident.

The baby boy sustained a bruise on his right shoulder as a result of the incident.

Lana was sentenced on Wednesday (Oct 21) to nine months' jail after pleading guilty to one count of ill-treating the baby, who cannot be named owing to a gag order.

The child's mother had employed Lana, who started working at the woman's flat near Hougang on Feb 26.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Pei Wei told the court the maid was tasked to care for her employer's four children and perform general household chores.

The mother was in her bedroom at around 7.30am on April 30 when she heard the baby crying loudly in the living room.

She checked the CCTV footage and saw Lana hitting her son's back three times.

The DPP added: "In the CCTV footage, the accused is seen hitting the victim on the back with her wrist. The victim cried immediately.

"The accused was next seen hitting the victim on the back with her fist twice, causing the victim to cry again. All three blows were forceful and had audible impact."

Lana later told investigators that she had hit the infant due to stress.

Her employer alerted the police that morning and the child was taken to KK Women's and Children's Hospital.

On Wednesday, DPP Tan urged District Judge Salina Ishak to sentence Lana to at least nine months' jail.

The prosecutor said: "The victim was only one month old at the material time and was absolutely defenceless against the offender.

"He was unable to run away from the offender and his only means of expressing his distress at her blows was to cry."

For ill-treating a child, an offender can be jailed for up to eight years and fined up to $8,000.