Indonesian maid jailed for putting eucalyptus oil in baby's bottled breast milk

SINGAPORE - A maid put eucalyptus oil in packs of breast milk meant for her employer's baby because she wanted to be scolded and sent back to Indonesia.

Annisa, 28 - who goes by one name - was jailed for three years on Monday after she pleaded guilty to attempting to cause hurt to the two-month-old boy.

The court heard that the Health Sciences Authority advises against feeding children eucalyptus oil as it contains terpineol, a potentially fatal ingredient.

The maid had been alone at their Ang Mo Kio home on Aug 23 last year when she came across the bottle of oil and decided to mix it with breast milk which her 34-year-old employer would store in the fridge and feed to her son two or three times a day.

The court heard that the helper's mother had died and she wanted to return to Indonesia to care for her father.

When the maid's employer returned home she noticed that two packs of breast milk in the fridge had a pungent smell.

She told her 44-year-old husband and later that evening they searched Annisa's belongings and found a bottle of PurerAire Eucalyptus oil placed on top of a cabinet. They smelt the contents of the bottle and called the police.

Annisa, who is divorced, said she was "truly remorseful" and asked for a light sentence.

But Assistant Public Prosecutor Lim Yu Hui sought at least three years' jail, citing several aggravating factors such as a significant breach of trust and that Annisa had targeted a vulnerable and innocent victim.

District Judge Lee Poh Choo, who backdated her sentence to Dec 30, told Annisa there was "absolutely no excuse" for what she had done.

Annisa could have been jailed for up to five years and fined.

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