SINGAPORE: A babysitter who was sentenced to seven years' jail for poisoning two infants with cocktails of drugs had her appeal dismissed by a High Court judge on Tuesday (Apr 19).
Justice Aedit Abdullah rejected Sa'adiah Jamari's arguments that other people could have poisoned the victims and that she did not possess all the drugs found in the victims' bodies.
These were similar to the arguments Sa'adiah had made in her trial in the lower court, which resulted in her conviction in October 2020.
The two infants, who are unrelated, were five months and 11 months at the time of the offences in late 2016.
They were each separately taken to the hospital after their mothers noticed they were drowsy and behaving unusually after picking them up from the babysitter.
Both infants were hospitalised and drugs were found in their systems, making up the two charges of administering poison that Sa'adiah was found guilty of.
The younger child was given 10 different drugs including medications for anxiety, a muscle relaxant and a sleeping aid, among others.
Both children responded well to treatment and were discharged after several days.
Justice Abdullah found that Sa'adiah had the opportunity to poison the infants while they were in her care as well as access to all of the drugs found in them, whereas no one else had such opportunity and access.
He devoted a significant part of his judgment to discussing whether it was proper for the trial judge to rely on a toxicology report from September 2016, which Sa'adiah had argued against using.
Sa'adiah argued that she had allowed the toxicology tests to be conducted in the context of investigations into another matter, as she had made a police report alleging to be the victim of a sexual assault.
The toxicology report showed that all of the drugs found in one of the infants were also found in blood and urine samples taken from Sa'adiah.
"She argues that the admission of the report was tantamount to a violation of her right against self-incrimination," said Justice Abdullah.
However, the High Court judge found that the report was admissible as evidence.
He also found that evidence apart from the report amply supported the trial judge's finding that Sa'adiah had access to the drugs found in the infants.
Sa'adiah will file an application to the Court of Appeal on a question of law of public interest arising from the appeal, her lawyers Chua Eng Hui, Luo Ling Ling, Sharifah Nabilah Binte Syed Omar and Noor Heeqmah Binte Wahianuar told the court.
She was allowed to remain out of bail for this reason, but ordered to serve her sentence from May 17 if her application is not filed on time.
For each charge of administering poison with the intent to cause hurt, Sa'adiah could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined. She cannot be caned as she is a woman.