Domestic helper jailed 9 months for pushing, stepping on baby

South China Morning Post

Posted at Apr 06 2021 08:03 AM | Updated as of Apr 06 2021 01:03 PM

Stressed by family matters back home, Suliana Kasim Dapok acted out by stepping on her Singapore employer's one-and-half-year old son and pushing him to the floor after he vomited on the carpet.

The 42-year-old's actions were captured on a closed-circuit television camera installed in the living room.

On Monday, the Indonesian domestic worker, who has three children of her own, was sentenced to nine months' jail for her actions.

She pleaded guilty to two charges of ill-treating a child under the Children and Young Persons Act, with a third charge taken into consideration for sentencing.

Suliana committed the offenses on May 8 last year during the circuit breaker period when individuals were banned from going out for non-essential purposes to stop the spread of Covid-19.

She started working for the family in October 2018 and was tasked to care for four children aged between one and seven, as well as perform general household chores.

On the day of the incident, the boy, who cannot be named due to a court gag order to protect his identity, vomited on the living room carpet at about 11am.

As Suliana was cleaning the carpet, the boy walked towards her. Not wanting him to come into contact with the detergent she was using, she elbowed him in the face, causing him to fall to the floor and cry.

Suliana then wiped the carpet and walked towards the kitchen. Frustrated from having to clean up after him and anticipating that he might grab her leg as she walked by, Suliana stepped on his right knee.

The toddler was seen on video crying in pain as a result. About 15 minutes later, they were back in the living room and she sat on the sofa folding laundry.

Suliana gestured for the boy to come to her. She then pushed his head causing him to fall to the floor, before grabbing his leg to pull him towards her and check his diapers.

As she got up to put away the laundry, she stepped on his right leg.

She did this because she was "stressed and upset about her personal matters relating to her family in Indonesia", said Deputy Public Prosecutor Ben Mathias Tan.

The boy's mother called the police at about 1pm that day to report the physical abuse.

She then took her son to KK Women's and Children's Hospital where doctors found yellowish bruising along his spine.

For each ill-treatment charge, Suliana could have been jailed for up to eight years or fined up to S$8,000 (US$5,940), or punished with both.

Read the original article at Today Online

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