A 29-year-old Indonesian maid working for a Singaporean family was sentenced to three years in jail on 20 September 2019 after she pleaded guilty to attempting to poison her employer’s three-month old baby.
According to Today Online, the Indonesian Maid had been working for the family for three years when the baby’s mother hired a 25-year-old Myanmar maid to look after the baby.
The maid became jealous that the new helper only had to take care of the baby while she had to do all the household chores, so she decided to frame her colleague by mixing soap detergent into the baby’s milk powder on 6 September 2018.
The maid, who cannot be named to protect the child’s identity, filled a milk powder scoop with Vanish Power O2 and Fab detergent powder and poured it into a tin of Karihome Goat Milk Infant Formula.
According to Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Zhou Yang, the maid knew that the milk powder was used only to feed the baby and that the baby was only three months old.
The next day at about 11pm, the 35-year-old mother was making milk for the baby when she noticed pink and black particles at the bottom of the milk bottle. Thinking that it was some foreign particles in the bottle, she used another bottle but this time, she saw blue particles at the bottom.
She then checked the milk powder tin and discovered that it smelt of detergent, so she decided to breast feed her baby instead after she sensed something was wrong.
The maid later confessed that she mixed the detergent powder into the milk powder as she felt she was given “more work as compared to other maids” and said that she did not want to work for her employer anymore.
DPP Zhou Yang said that the substance was “almost consumed by the baby” even though the maid acted “purely out of personal vendetta on the other maid” which could have brought “potential life-threatening harm” to the baby.
District Judge Prem Raj said that the motive behind the maid’s actions were “especially troubling” as she had “no qualms using an infant as a tool” and added that the maid was just unhappy about the way work was assigned.
“The well-being and life of everyone – especially that of an innocent infant – is not something to be used as a means to pursue one’s selfish agenda,” he said.
“It was “fortuitous” that the mother had suspected something was wrong before feeding the baby, otherwise the maid’s charge could have been a more serious one attracting a jail sentence of up to 10 years, instead of five.”
The judge said that the baby would have suffered harm as she was still at a “tender age where the digestive system has yet to develop fully”.
The maid said that she regrets her actions and asked for a lenient sentence, justifying that she was the only breadwinner for her family. She was then sentenced to three years in prison.
Thankfully no harm was done to the innocent baby!
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