Myanmar maid jailed for mixing disinfectant into cereal drink of employer's mother-in-law

Mya Thet Wai was jailed for five months for mixing Dettol into a cereal drink and letting her employer's mother-in-law drink it. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - 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 back home, she mixed Dettol disinfectant into a cup of cereal drink made by the 65-year-old, a district court heard.

On Monday (Aug 14), Mya Thet Wai, 24, was sentenced to five months' jail after admitting to causing Madam Toh Sew Keok to drink the mixture on April 6 this year, knowing that it would likely cause hurt to her. The maid had been working in the Tampines household since Jan 10 this year.

The court heard that Madam Toh made a cereal drink for herself in the kitchen that morning and covered the cup with a lid. She then went to feed her seven-month-old grandchild.

As Madam Toh was feeding the infant, the maid took a small cup of Dettol disinfectant liquid, poured it into Madam Toh's drink and put the lid back.

Madam Toh then asked the maid to tend to the baby before returning to the kitchen to eat some bread. When she drank from the cup, she immediately spat out the liquid 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.

Later, when Mya Thet Wai's employer returned, closed-circuit television footage was viewed and the police were called. The maid then admitted it, saying that she did not want to continue working for the household.

The victim was unharmed.

In mitigation, Mya Thet Wai said that Madam Toh had nagged at her every day until she could not take it. She hoped that by mixing Dettol into the drink, her employer would send her back to Myanmar. She said that she realised her mistake and pleaded for leniency.

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

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