Maid jailed for mixing Dettol into cereal drink

Mya Thet Wai wanted to be sent back to Myanmar as her employer's mother-in-law nagged at her daily, she said.
Mya Thet Wai wanted to be sent back to Myanmar as her employer's mother-in-law nagged at her daily, she said.

A Myanmar domestic worker, who was allegedly nagged by her employer's mother-in-law every day, decided she had had enough and wanted to leave.

But instead of asking to be sent home, she mixed Dettol disinfectant into a cup of cereal drink made by the 65-year-old who often nagged at her, a district court heard.

Yesterday, Mya Thet Wai, 24, was sentenced to five months' jail after she pleaded guilty to causing Madam Toh Sew Keok to drink the mixture at her employer's home in Tampines on April 6.

The maid had been working in the household since Jan 10.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Kee En said Madam Toh made a cereal drink for herself in the kitchen that morning and covered the cup with a lid.

She then went to the living room to feed her seven-month- old grandchild.

As she was feeding the baby, the maid took a small cup of Dettol disinfectant liquid and placed it on the kitchen table.

After getting a pillow for the baby, she returned to the kitchen and poured the disinfectant into Madam Toh's cereal drink and put the lid back.

Madam Toh then asked the maid to tend to the baby while she went to the kitchen to eat some bread. When she sipped the cereal drink, she immediately spat it out and rinsed her mouth repeatedly.

She called her daughter-in-law to tell her that someone had added something into her cereal drink.

When Madam Toh confronted the maid, she denied it.

When the maid's employer later returned, closed-circuit television footage was viewed and the police were called.

The maid then admitted adding the disinfectant into the victim's drink, saying she did not want to continue working there as the victim "nagged at her frequently".

Pleading for leniency, Mya Thet Wai said in mitigation that she could not taking the victim's daily nagging.

She had hoped that by committing the act, her employer would send her back to Myanmar.

She could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 15, 2017, with the headline 'Maid jailed for mixing Dettol into cereal drink'. Print Edition | Subscribe