SINGAPORE — A domestic helper from Myanmar was jailed on Thursday (Feb 6) for six months for hitting her 19-month-old charge repeatedly with a hanger to make him stop crying.
When questioned by the parents, the maid lied about the boy’s bruises, citing an accident, but a hospital confirmed that they were inflicted on purpose.
War War Myint Aung, 27, pleaded guilty at the State Courts to one charge of ill-treating a child.
The courts revealed details of the case: On April 12, 2019, Ms War War’s employers, the baby’s parents, left their son in her care when they went to work.
At around 1pm, War War gave the boy some lunch. As she was washing the dishes, the baby started to cry.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Lim Yu Hui said that “the accused carried the victim to make him stop crying but to no avail”.
War War decided to change the boy’s diaper, thinking that this would make him stop crying, but that did not work either. So she picked him up and carried him again.
As the boy continued to cry, the accused took a clothes hanger from the bathroom, held him by his hand and hit him several times with the hanger. Bruises were later found on his back and right cheek.
DPP Lim said the victim “moved around to avoid getting hit but the accused continued to hit him”. She then placed the hanger outside on the balcony.
When the child’s parents returned from work, they found bruises on his right cheek. When they asked her about it, War War lied and said that the baby had fallen while she was in the toilet.
The father later found bruises on the boy’s back and confronted the domestic helper about them. Again, War War insisted that the boy had received the bruises from the fall.
Seeing multiple bruises over their son’s body and realising that War War’s story was inconsistent with the injuries, the parents called the police.
War War was arrested for mistreating a child. The KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, where the boy was examined, found multiple linear bruises ranging from 2cm to 4cm in size over the child’s back and arms. The doctor confirmed that the bruises were not accidentally inflicted.
In court, District Judge Marvin Bay said: “A deterrent sentence is called for in this instance to ensure that all caregivers give pause before resorting to the infliction of violence to young children under their care.”
He also spoke of the emotional and psychological effects the child would sustain from the incident.
Under the Children and Young Persons Act, War War could have been fined up to S$8,000 or jailed for up to eight years, or both. /TISG
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