SINGAPORE — A five-year-old boy who was abused by his maid in March complained to his mother of chest pain after the incident, a court heard.
When confronted, however, the helper denied the abuse. But two days after the incident, the mother came across a viral video of the abuse online and recognised her child and maid.
At the State Courts on Tuesday (20 August), the 24-year-old maid from Indonesia was jailed for eight months after she pleaded guilty to one charge of ill-treating a child.
The perpetrator cannot be named to protect the victim’s identity.
Boy wanted to play on field
The maid starting working for the mother and child’s household in November last year. The helper was tasked to take care of the boy.
On the morning of 12 March, the boy took a ball and went to a field nearby his home in Punggol. The maid went after him and picked him up.
When he struggled, she smacked his buttocks so that he wouldn’t struggle and fall off. But the boy continued to struggle and the maid got frustrated, the court heard.
“She then deliberately threw the victim onto the ground and carried him up again,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Ang Siok Chen.
“As the victim continued to struggle, the accused purposely threw him down to the ground again.”
The maid then carried the boy back home.
Mother saw clip of incident
Later the same day, the boy complained to his 34-year-old mother that the maid had thrown him onto the ground and that he felt pain on his chest.
But the maid denied abusing the child and said that he had “rolled himself on the grass”, said DPP Ang.
Unbeknownst to them, a 32-year-old woman had witnessed the incident and recorded the abuse on her mobile phone. She posted the video on a WeChat group.
The video was later shared online and went viral.
On 14 March, the mother saw the clip on Facebook and recognised the boy and maid.
She made a police report and also brought her child to hospital, where he was found to have mild tenderness over the spine.
In mitigation, the maid told the court through an interpreter that she would like to apologise to the boy’s family and also asked for leniency.
The maximum punishment for ill-treating a child under the Children and Young Persons Act is up to four years’ jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
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