Maid jailed 40 months, 6 weeks for robbing employer's mum, 81, of $9,000

Jaimah Hapit Said was sentenced to 40 months and six weeks in jail on Tuesday (Dec 13) after pleading guilty to robbing Madam Hwang Sai Kin. PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - About a month into her job as a domestic helper, an Indonesian was alone with her employer's elderly mother when she robbed her of $8,180 and three bangles worth $1,200, a district court heard.

Jaimah Hapit Said, 32, was sentenced to 40 months and six weeks in jail on Tuesday (Dec 13) after pleading guilty to robbing Madam Hwang Sai Kin, 81, of cash and jewellery totalling $9,380 at a house in Bedok on Sept 26, 2016.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jaime Pang told the court that Jaimah entered Madam Hwang's room at about 2pm that day and asked if she disliked her. Madam Hwang denied this.

The maid suddenly grabbed Madam Hwang's right hand tightly and pushed her back onto the bed, causing her to fall backwards.

She sat on the victim's body and stuffed a white cleaning towel into her mouth to prevent her from shouting for help.

About 10 minutes later, she removed the towel from Madam Hwang's mouth while still restraining her legs. She demanded money from Madam Hwang, who repeatedly told her that she would comply with her demands.

Jaimah then told Madam Hwang to sit at the corner of the room, and put her arms around the victim's neck, hurting her and causing her to have difficulty breathing.

She eventually stopped. She asked Madam Hwang to get the cash for her and Madam Hwang handed over $3,600.

When Madam Hwang said she was hungry and asked for food, Jaimah warned her not to shout for help. She removed the telephone in the room, as well as the victim's mobile phone.

While heading to the kitchen, Jaimah adjusted the closed-circuit television camera in the living room so that it was not able to capture her movements. She took bread and water to the victim, and also retrieved a knife from the kitchen.

After passing the bread and water to Madam Hwang, Jaimah pointed the knife at her, warning her not to leave the room until half an hour later, and threatened to stab her with the knife if she did.

DPP Pang said Jaimah then ransacked the house, and took $4,580 and three bangles from her employer's bedroom. She tried to but could not locate her passport.

Before she left the house with $8,180 in cash and three bangles, she disconnected the telephone lines to prevent the victim from calling for help. But Madam Hwang eventually managed to reconnect the phone line and called her sister.

Jaimah was arrested three days later when she sought help from the Indonesian Embassy.

The victim was examined and found to have minor injuries on the neck and forearm.

Asked by District Judge Crystal Ong what she did with the items and cash, Jaimah said that she handed them to an Indonesian woman and did not know whether the latter had handed the cash and jewellery to her (Jaimah's) family.

Jaimah could have been jailed for up to 10 years for robbery. She cannot be caned and in lieu of the minimum six strokes, she got another six weeks' jail. Her sentence was backdated to Oct 5.

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