I did not see maid on awning: Employer

Australian Belinda Huber alias Belinda Tran (left) testified that if she had seen her maid, Ms Taculad Rose Mae Mata, she would have told the latter: "Come back. You shouldn't be there."
Australian Belinda Huber alias Belinda Tran (left) testified that if she had seen her maid, Ms Taculad Rose Mae Mata, she would have told the latter: "Come back. You shouldn't be there."ST PHOTOS: WONG KWAI CHOW

Boss tells court that had she seen helper standing on it, she would have called her back

The employer of a maid caught on camera in 2017 cleaning a second-storey glass awning told a district court yesterday that she had not seen the helper standing on it.

Australian Belinda Huber alias Belinda Tran, 37, testified that had she seen the maid, Ms Taculad Rose Mae Mata, on the awning, she would have told the Filipina: "Come back. You shouldn't be there."

Ms Mata, however, had told the court on Thursday that Huber had seen her on the awning twice but did not stop her.

The Filipina, who worked at Huber's Goldhill Avenue house near Dunearn Road from April 2017 to March last year, also testified earlier that Huber's mother had told her to clean the glass awning when it rained "to save water".

Huber's mother, Madam Tran Kim Anh, took the stand yesterday and, through a Vietnamese interpreter, told District Judge Salina Ishak that she, too, had not seen Ms Mata on the awning.

Huber is a director of Huber's, the parent company of Huber's Butchery. She is claiming trial to one count of failing to provide a safe working environment for Ms Mata between early June and July 4, 2017.

She is accused of allowing Ms Mata to clean the glass awning over the porch area of her home.

 
 
 

Yesterday, Huber told the court that she had "a lot of issues" with Ms Mata, adding that the Filipina could not get along with her other helpers.

Huber said strangers had shown up at the house on account of Ms Mata, who also had a history of coming home late. She added that the maid had also stolen food.

Another maid, Ms Villegas Lyn Balbao, testified on Thursday that Ms Mata had expressed her intention to change employers while she was still working for Huber.

Ms Balbao, who works for Huber's neighbour, had earlier told Judge Salina that she spotted Ms Mata cleaning the glass awning by standing on its surface in July 2017.

Ms Balbao added that Ms Mata then asked her to snap a picture and she complied.

Ms Balbao had also said: "I asked her, 'Do you want me to pass to MOM (Ministry of Manpower)?... She said yes."

The court heard on Thursday that Ms Balbao did not pass the picture to the ministry. Instead, the image was posted online and it went viral soon after.

Huber is now out on bail of $5,000, and the judge is expected to give her verdict on Jan 28.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2019, with the headline 'I did not see maid on awning: Employer'. Print Edition | Subscribe