SINGAPORE - A maid, who repeatedly abused her employer’s three-year-old daughter by acts such as pinching the toddler, later told investigators that she committed the offences as she felt tired of working.
The 39-year-old Indian national pleaded guilty on Thursday to two counts of ill-treating the child - offences under Children and Young Persons Act.
She cannot be named, owing to a gag order to protect the victim’s identity.
The maid began working in the victim’s home in July 2020. In mid-2021, the child’s mother started noticing bruises on her daughter’s cheeks.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Alexandria Shamini Joseph said: “When the (mother) asked the accused about the bruises, the accused responded that she did not know how the victim had got the bruises and that she had not noticed them before.
“Thinking that the victim might have got the bruises during her playtime, the (mother) did not pursue the matter further.”
On or around Jan 10, 2022, the mother spotted a bruise on her daughter’s back and suspected that the child could have been abused.
The mother initially suspected that the little girl was abused at her pre-school and lodged a complaint with its principal. The mother also alerted the police on Jan 12.
The management of the pre-school later checked its closed-circuit television (CCTV) recordings, but did not notice anything amiss concerning the toddler on its premises. The pre-school then told the girl’s mother about its findings.
During this period, the mother noticed that the maid appeared nervous, and asked her how she would respond to police officers if she were under investigation.
The truth emerged when the mother checked CCTV recordings from her home and saw the maid repeatedly abusing the daughter on Jan 6.
Among the many acts of abuse, the maid had pinched the girl’s stomach while she was drinking milk, causing the child to scream and cry. She also slapped the child and pressed on her face.
The maid also abused the child on Jan 9 with acts such as repeatedly pinching the toddler’s chest and arms. She also punched the child in the back.
The mother confronted her child’s abuser on Jan 13, and the maid later came clean to the police about what she had done.
The prosecutor told the court: “The accused claimed that she committed the acts on the victim because she was agitated, annoyed and tired of working.
“She did not raise any complaints about working for the complainant’s family in her statement to the police.”
The toddler was taken to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital on Jan 15, and she was found with multiple bruises.
The mother has since quit her job to care for her children. This means that her husband is now left as the sole breadwinner of the family, said the DPP.
The maid is expected to be sentenced on Jan 9, 2023.