Singapore

Nanny denies feeding infants her medications

She stands accused of poisoning two baby girls under her care with a range of drugs

A babysitter, accused of poisoning two baby girls under her care in separate incidents, denied in a district court yesterday that she had fed any of her medications to the children.

Sa'adiah Jamari also told the court she had been prescribed some of the drugs that were later found to be present in the two babies.

The 39-year-old Singaporean is accused of two counts of administering poisons to the babies with the intention of hurting them.

One of the infants was just five months old at the time, while the other was 11 months old. They are not related to each other.

Taking the stand on the sixth day of her trial, Sa'adiah said she had been prescribed diazepam and alprazolam, which are used to treat anxiety disorders.

It was not mentioned in court why she was prescribed the drugs.

Yesterday, the court heard that at the time of the alleged offences, she also had chlorpheniramine, an antihistamine, in her Hougang flat.

Traces of the three substances had been detected in both babies.

Sa'adiah had also been prescribed the sleeping drug zolpidem. This drug had been found in only the younger baby.

The court heard that other substances, including another sleeping drug, temazepam, had also been found in the two babies.

When examined by defence lawyer Chua Eng Hui, Sa'adiah told District Judge John Ng that she did not recognise these other drugs, and denied giving them to the girls.

Sa'adiah, who has two daughters, testified that she took care of the younger baby and the baby's then five-year-old sister in her flat between November and December 2016.

She told the court there were occasions when she bought items for the two siblings, including a swing for the older girl, but did not ask their mother to compensate her.

She told Judge Ng: "I love the children."

The girl's mother had earlier testified that her baby was found to be "very drowsy" and "cranky" after leaving Sa'adiah's flat. The 29-year-old mother added that the baby was then hospitalised for several days.

The woman later alerted the police after receiving a hospital report listing a range of drugs detected in her daughter.

Sa'adiah told the court yesterday that she took care of the older baby in December 2016.

The older baby's mother, 22, testified in February that she needed somebody to look after her child on Christmas evening, and took her daughter to Sa'adiah's flat.

The mother added that her boyfriend picked up the baby around 6am the next day, when she noticed her infant seemed "tired".

The baby was taken to KK Women's and Children's Hospital, and was admitted.

A urine sample taken from the baby was later found to contain substances that included alprazolam and diazepam. She was discharged on Jan 1, 2017.

Both mothers cannot be named, owing to a gag order to protect their children's identities.

Sa'adiah is out on bail of $10,000, and her trial will resume today.

COURT & CRIME