Maid who abandoned baby son jailed five months
Indonesian had given birth to him in a toilet and was afraid she would be sent home if employers found out
The maid who abandoned her newborn in a recycling bin was jailed for five months yesterday.
The 29-year-old Indonesian, who cannot be named due to a gag order, pleaded guilty to abandoning the child at Tai Keng Gardens, an estate in Paya Lebar.
The child is now in a stable condition and well.
The maid came to Singapore in 2018 and had good relations with her employers.
She got romantically involved with a Bangladeshi man, and the relationship ended earlier this year.
But in mid-May, she discovered she was pregnant.
Afraid she would be sent back if her employers found out, she tried to abort the baby by taking pills.
Her attempt failed, and she gave birth to the boy in a toilet at 1pm on July 27.
She cut the umbilical cord with a pair of scissors and wrapped her son in a towel, placing him in a paper bag.
She also gave the newborn some water to drink.
Afraid her employer would hear the crying baby, she left the residence and walked for some time with him before randomly placing him in a bin in front of a house in Tai Keng Gardens.
She made sure the bin was empty and used a stone to prop open the lid to allow the baby to breathe, and prayed he would be found by a passer-by.
The family living there found the child at about 7.45pm, after a man who had come out to smoke heard the infant's cries.
They wrapped the baby in fresh towels before he was taken to hospital. He weighed 2.87kg.
The accused was arrested on July 29 and has been remanded since July 30.
Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tin Shu Min urged the court to jail the maid for at least six to eight months.
She noted the accused had taken steps to lower the risk of death and injury to the child, but the gravity of the offence could not be overlooked.
Defence lawyer Anand Nalachandran, who was assigned under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, asked for a sentence of not more than 20 weeks' jail.
He said she did not get medical attention after giving birth, and did not know who or where to seek help from.
"She was alone throughout this ordeal," he said.
"I don't think it's really in anyone's power to fully understand what she was going through."
District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan backdated the sentence to July 30.
With remission, she may be released from prison soon.
For exposure and abandonment of her child who was under the age of 12, the maid could have been jailed for up to seven years, or fined, or both.