Myanmar maid gets 10 weeks' jail for causing hurt to 72-year-old stroke patient under her care

SINGAPORE - A maid hit, spat on, and forcefully grabbed the back of the head of a 72-year-old stroke patient under her care - all of which occurred on the same day in February 2021.

Aye Aye Than, 26, was jailed for 10 weeks on Thursday (June 3).

The Myanmar national pleaded guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt to a vulnerable person.

Another three charges of using criminal force against the victim were taken into consideration for sentencing.

The court heard that the victim, who lived with his wife and daughter, was bedridden after multiple strokes, the most serious of which happened at the end of 2019.

He was unable to perform daily tasks on his own and had to be fed through a tube as he choked easily on food.

He also had trouble speaking because it was painful for him.

Aye Aye Than was employed to care for the victim between Jan 2, 2020, and Feb 7, 2021.

Her duties included changing the diapers of the victim, feeding him five times a day and removing his phlegm.

She was trained by staff at Ren Ci Community Hospital for the first few days of her employment.

The victim had undergone rehabilitation at the hospital.

The court heard that Aye Aye Than hit the victim's arm with excessive force while she was feeding him at around 8.30am on Feb 5.

Shortly thereafter, she spat on his face.

Later that day, she forcefully grabbed the back of his head while helping him up from his wheelchair.

The victim's daughter-in-law reported the abuse to the police two days later, on Feb 7.

Video clips of the assaults captured on closed-circuit television were replayed in court on Thursday.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jotham Tay said the victim was particularly vulnerable as he was bedridden and had difficulty communicating.

"The videos show that the victim was simply unable to defend himself," DPP Tay said.

In mitigation, Aye Aye Than said she was sorry for her actions and that she was the breadwinner for her parents.

She pleaded for the shortest possible sentence as she wanted to go back to Myanmar.

District Judge Luke Tan told the Myanmar national during sentencing that she had committed offences against the person she was engaged to care for.

"The only thing that can be said in favour of the accused is that she has pleaded guilty so there is no need for the victim to testify in court, if that is even possible," the judge said.

Addressing Aye Aye Than, he said: "I hope that after this is over... (such) things will not happen with you again. You should really reflect on what you've done."

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