Six months' jail for maid who hit toddler with clothes hanger

Angry that the child she was taking care of would not stop crying, a domestic helper hit the boy multiple times with a clothes hanger, causing bruises on his body.

The boy, who was almost 19 months' old at the time, tried to move away but could not escape as she held on to him. The maid later lied to his parents that he had a fall.

War War Myint Aung pleaded guilty yesterday, on her 27th birthday, to one count of ill-treating a child, and was sentenced to six months' jail. The child cannot be identified due to a gag order.

According to court papers, War, who is from Myanmar, had been working at the child's home since November 2018. Her duties included taking care of the boy and his older brother.

On April 12 last year, the child was in her care at home after his parents and brother left the house at around 7am. The boy started crying after he was fed lunch. War tried to make him stop by carrying him twice and changing his diapers, but to no avail.

Angry that he would not stop crying, she took a clothes hanger and hit him several times. He tried to escape but could not. She then placed the hanger in the balcony.

When the child's mother returned home after work, she discovered bruises on the boy's right cheek. War lied that the child had a fall while she was in the toilet.

The parents then found more injuries on the boy's back, and confronted War, who insisted that the child had fallen down. The child's father then called the police, who later arrested her.

In sentencing, District Judge Marvin Bay said that the child could possibly have emotional and psychological scars from the abuse. "A deterrent sentence is called for in this instance to ensure that all caregivers give pause before resorting to inflicting violence on young children under their care," he said.

 
 

For ill-treating a child, War could have been sentenced to jail for up to eight years, or a maximum fine of $8,000, or both.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 07, 2020, with the headline 'Six months' jail for maid who hit toddler with clothes hanger'. Print Edition | Subscribe