Maid jailed for abusing terminally ill elderly woman in hospital
Myanmar national Lain Ngain was entrusted to take care of the terminally ill and bedridden elderly woman.
Employed as a domestic helper, she betrayed that trust by abusing Madam Wee Keu Hoi, pinching her left breast so hard that it left a 1cm by 1cm bruise near the nipple, a district court heard on Wednesday.
Lain Ngain, 28, was jailed for four months after she pleaded guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt to 67-year-old Madam Wee, who was warded at National University Hospital (NUH) at the time.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Colin Ng told District Judge Luke Tan: "The accused was callous and cruel towards the victim, who had to suffer at the hands of her abuser even during the last few weeks towards the end of her life."
Madam Wee died from a heart attack on Jan 23 this year. Lain Ngain started working at Madam Wee's home from September 2017, caring for her daily needs such as feeding her, changing her clothes and showering her.
When she was warded in July last year for end-stage renal disease, Madam Wee's son Choo Wee Seng, 41, entrusted Lain Ngain to attend to his mother's needs during visiting hours.
But when he visited her on Dec 31, she told him the domestic helper had hit her just before he came, and on several other occasions. Mr Choo alerted the duty nurse, who confirmed Lain Ngain had hurt Madam Wee that day after reviewing closed-circuit television footage.
It showed Lain Ngain pinching Madam Wee's left breast, left arm, left cheek and nose between 11.55am and 1.05pm.
Investigations revealed she was upset with Madam Wee for throwing tantrums and insulting her while she was taking care of her at the hospital and had pinched the patient to stop her.
On Jan 2, Mr Choo made a police report in which he claimed Lain Ngain had also spat on his mother's face.
In his submissions, DPP Ng said the sentence needed to send a clear message to all like-minded offenders that such exploitative and bullying conduct will not be tolerated.
He said Madam Wee was a vulnerable victim and the multiple assaults were egregious and highly intrusive.
For voluntarily causing hurt, Lain Ngain could have been jailed for up to two years, fined up to $5,000, or both.