Singapore

Maid jailed 8 weeks for ill-treating baby

Frustrated that the baby she was entrusted to care for would not go to sleep, a domestic worker placed a handkerchief over the infant's face and shook her head roughly.

The baby was in a carrier strapped to the front of Filipina Melody Garcia Narciso, 46, who was trying to get her to sleep.

For ill-treating the child under her care, Narciso was yesterday sentenced to eight weeks' jail.

She had pleaded guilty to the offence that was committed on Oct 19 last year.

A second charge of pushing and hitting the child's head earlier that day was taken into consideration in sentencing.

The court heard that the baby's mother had checked on Narciso that evening through the closed-circuit television camera installed in the baby's room.

She saw the maid place a handkerchief over the victim's face, which she took with her right hand and shook up and down.

Narciso then took the baby's head in both hands and shook it from left to right.

Narciso's employer waited for her husband to return home before reporting what she had seen to the police that evening.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kelly Ho asked the court to impose at least four weeks' jail, citing two aggravating factors - the extreme youth, vulnerability and defencelessness of the victim and the inherent danger of Narciso's actions, although no external injuries were found.

Pleading for leniency, Narciso said she was remorseful for her actions.

She said she had been coughing the whole night and had not had enough sleep.

"I had to wake up early and was trying to put the baby to sleep, and rest early," she added.

District Judge Jasvender Kaur backdated her sentence to her remand on March 10.

Narciso could have been fined up to $4,000 and jailed up to four years.

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