Maid jailed after hitting 1-month-old boy to 'vent her stress'

Maid jailed after hitting 1-month-old boy to 'vent her stress'

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File photo of a woman feeding milk to a baby. (Photo: AFP/Peter Parks)

SINGAPORE: An Indonesian maid who hit a one-month-old baby with so much force that it could be heard on closed-circuit television camera footage had done so to "vent her stress", the court heard on Wednesday (Oct 21) .

Lana Ngizatul Mona, 26, was sentenced to nine months' jail on Wednesday after pleading guilty to one charge of ill-treating a child.

The court heard that Lana had been working for the victim's mother for about two months when the incident occurred. She was tasked to care for her employer's four children and to complete household chores.

At about 7.30am on Apr 30 this year, the victim's mother was inside her bedroom when she heard her baby cry loudly in the living room.

She checked the footage on the closed-circuit television camera installed in the living room and saw Lana hitting her son three times. Lana, who was seated on a chair, was carrying the baby in her arms as she fed him milk.

In the footage, Lana was seen using her wrist to hit the boy once on his back, causing him to cry. She then used her fist to hit the baby two more times on his back, causing him to cry again.

"All three blows were forceful and had audible impact," said the prosecutor. "The accused admitted to having hit the victim in order to vent her stress."

The boy's mother took her son to hospital that day and he was found with a 2cm by 2cm bruise over his shoulder that was caused by Lana's blows.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Pei Wei asked for at least nine months' jail, saying that the force of the blows was such that they could be heard in the video footage and caused bruising.

The sentence was appropriate to reflect the harm caused to the boy, and the "accused's culpability in abusing a helpless child that had been entrusted to her care", said Ms Tan.

Lana, who cried during the hearing, asked for a light sentence so she could return to her family. She said she was remorseful and had a child to support.

For ill-treating a child by subjecting him to physical abuse, she could have been jailed for up to eight years, fined up to S$8,000, or both.

Source: CNA/ll

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