Maid jailed 9 months for abusing baby boy

She filmed video clips of herself hitting employer's son and sent them to her lover after argument

Unhappy with her boyfriend after a heated argument, a Filipino maid physically abused her employer's one-year-old son.

She recorded the acts with her mobile phone and sent the video clips to her lover to show him what she was capable of when angered. The clips showed Leslie Ann Belmonte Dieza smothering the baby with a pillow, pulling his hair and using the broad side of a kitchen knife to hit his buttocks repeatedly.

Dieza, 36, was jailed for nine months yesterday after pleading guilty to two counts of ill-treating a child.

She is married to a 36-year-old Filipino who works in Singapore as a logistics coordinator.

But the court heard that she and her husband have a strained relationship as she had an extramarital affair with another man known only as Raymond.

Dieza, who came to Singapore to work as a maid in 2016, had been employed by an Australian family for about 16 months before she committed the offences in their Thomson Road condominium apartment.

On April 11 this year, Dieza was in a bedroom with the boy when she received a call from Raymond and they had a heated argument over finances. She then decided to record videos of herself abusing the boy, said Assistant Public Prosecutor Dillon Kok.

"The accused pressed the face of the victim onto a mattress, used a pillow to smother the victim, shook the victim while holding onto a pillow around his head, pulled the hair on the back of the victim's head... lifted the victim by his hair and threw his head against a pillow. Throughout his ordeal, the victim was screaming and crying in pain," he added.

The clip was one minute and 34 seconds long, said APP Kok.

Later that afternoon, Dieza recorded a 35-second video of herself hitting the child's buttocks with the broad side of a kitchen knife. She sent both clips to Raymond via Facebook Messenger.

When he saw the clips, he asked his sister to contact Dieza's husband, who watched the videos in the evening. Dieza's husband met her near the condominium but she walked away after an argument.

He made a police report that night and she was arrested.

The boy was taken to KK Women's and Children's Hospital where he was found with a 1cm abrasion on his left heel.

Further check-ups did not reveal any other injuries and he was discharged the next day. For each count of ill-treating a child, Dieza could have been jailed for up to four years and fined up to $4,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2018, with the headline 'Maid jailed 9 months for abusing baby boy'. Print Edition | Subscribe