SINGAPORE — A maid who wanted a baby she cared for to sleep through the night spiked the 13-month-old girl’s milk with a muscle relaxant.
The 32-year-old maid from Indonesia wanted to have a night’s rest undisturbed.
The maid was jailed for six months on Tuesday (2 November) after she admitted to one count of causing hurt by poison. The baby did not suffer any permanent ill effects. The baby and the maid cannot be named due to a gag order.
The maid was employed to care for the victim and do household chores. She had worked for the victim’s 33-year-old mother for 14 months before the incident without complaint.
Just before the incident on 5 December last year, the maid was tired from looking after the baby, but did not tell her employer.
The maid was instructed to feed milk to the baby. She retrieved a milk bottle already filled with 100ml of milk and went to take an Anarex tablet, which she had consumed on previous occasions. She knew the tablet caused drowsiness.
Earlier that evening, the maid had planned to feed Anarex to the baby so that the baby would sleep through the night.
She then brought the baby to the master bedroom, where she placed the tablet inside the milk bottle. The baby consumed about 90ml of the milk and fell asleep after 20 minutes. The maid then placed the baby in the cot and went to the kitchen to wash the milk bottle.
Before she could wash the milk bottle, a niece of the victim’s mother spotted something blue and white in the milk and told the mother. The latter asked the maid what the tablet was. The maid claimed she did not know what it was, as she was scared.
The mother then tasted the milk and confronted the maid, who finally came clean about lacing the milk. She apologised but her employer called the police.
The baby was brought to the hospital the next day but was discharged in a stable condition.
The prosecution called for at least six months’ jail, citing how the maid had planned from earlier that evening to spike the milk with medication. She had been trusted to care for the baby from her birth. The baby was a vulnerable victim who was unable to defend herself.
Mitigating for herself, the maid said through an interpreter, "I do not have any intentions of ill will. I only wanted her to rest so that I could have take a rest as well. I understand what I did was wrong therefore I seek forgiveness and hope that I would be placed on a lighter sentence.”
She told the court that she was the sole breadwinner of her family since her father died and her husband had left her.
“It has been hard since my remand. I was held at the Indonesian embassy for about 10 months with further uncertainties… Recently my mother has contracted COVID and she is in critical care. I work with the sole focus to sustain my family. I fear if anything happens to me my family would not be taken care of.”
She added that she needed to service her late father’s loans.
District Judge Victor Yeo noted that it was fortunate the baby did not come to permanent harm, or else the sentence imposed would be higher than what the prosecution sought.
By causing hurt by means of poison, the maid could have been jailed up to 10 years, and fined. She cannot be caned as she is a woman.
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