Jail for deliberately scalding baby

A maid who wanted to work for another household deliberately dipped the hand of her employer’s 16-month-old baby into a pot of hot water after finding out she would have to incur costs for a transfer.

The 30-year-old Myanmar national, who cannot be named to protect the girl’s identity, was sentenced yesterday to 14 months’ jail after pleading guilty to one count of using a heated substance to cause hurt.

The maid started working for the family on Dec 8 last year.

Her job scope included housekeeping and cooking, as well as taking care of the baby and her eight-year-old sister.

After two weeks, the maid decided she wanted to work elsewhere as she did not know how to care for the baby.

She approached her agency but when she learnt she had to pay for a transfer, she continued working for the family.

The maid was cooking chicken curry on Jan 14 this year in the family flat in the Buangkok area when the baby started crying. She carried the baby and continued cooking.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jane Lim said: “While the accused was carrying the victim, she felt agitated and moved the victim’s left hand towards the pot causing the victim’s left hand to come into contact with the hot water two to three times, with the knowledge that she was likely to cause hurt to the victim.”

A closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera in the flat captured the maid committing the offence.

In the video, which was played in court yesterday, the baby could be heard screaming when her hand came in contact with the hot water.

The victim’s sister stepped out of a bathroom when she heard the cry but the maid claimed the baby had placed her hand inside the pot.

The older girl phoned their father, who advised her to apply some aloe vera and toothpaste on the burn. He returned home an hour after the incident and took the baby to a clinic after seeing the extent of her injuries.

The child was then referred to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital where she was diagnosed with having second-degree burns on her left hand.

The Myanmar national initially lied to the girls’ parents when they questioned her, claiming that the baby had accidentally touched the pot on the stove.

But the father became suspicious the next day when the maid said that she wanted to stop working for the household.

He viewed the CCTV clip with his spouse and saw the maid committing the offence.

When confronted with the video evidence, the maid finally confessed that she had hurt the baby on purpose. — The Straits Times/ANN

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