Babysitter on trial for poisoning infants is lying, drugs found in her match those in babies: Prosecutor
SINGAPORE: A babysitter on trial for poisoning two infants in her care had drugs in her system that matched those found in the babies, a court heard on Wednesday (Jul 15).
Sa'adiah Jamari, a freelance babysitter and registered nurse, was cross-examined by the prosecutor, who repeatedly asserted that she was lying in order to "distance herself" from the drugs found in the babies.
The court also heard that Sa'adiah, 38, had admitted to the police that she had crushed half a pill of flu medicine and given it to one of the babies, but she denied this in court, saying she had been "provoked" to say so.
Sa'adiah, who has two daughters of her own, is contesting two counts of administering poisons to the babies - aged five months and 11 months - in two separate cases in 2016.
The mother of the five-month-old child had hired Sa'adiah on eight occasions, sending the baby and her five-year-old daughter to Sa'adiah's home between November and December 2016.
The older victim spent one night with Sa'adiah in December that same year. The baby's mother had gone out with her husband and returned to the babysitter's place to find her child drowsy like she was drugged.
Toxicology reports later found 10 drugs in the first baby and six in the older one, including sleeping pills, antihistamines and anxiety medication. The babies have since recovered.
Sa'adiah had prescriptions for some of these drugs. An empty slab of Zolpidem, also known as Stilnox, was found in her home. The sedative was also detected in the younger baby and on a milk bottle.
READ: Babysitter on trial for poisoning 2 babies says she did not give them drugs though she had some in her house
A slab of Chlorpheniramine, also known as Piriton, with 10 remaining tablets was also found in her home. The antihistamine was detected in both the babies.
Diazepam, a medication for anxiety also known as Valium, was found in both babies. The drug was also detected on a handkerchief with brown stains in Sa'adiah's home.
At the time of the offences, Sa'adiah was on at least three medications that were later found in either of the babies. These are Zolpidem, Xanax for anxiety and Diazepam.
According to medical records, drugs found in Sa'adiah's system in September 2016 matched those found in the babies a few months later, the court heard.
PROSECUTOR QUESTIONS ACCUSED ON DISCREPANCIES
Deputy Public Prosecutor Seah Ee Wei on Wednesday quizzed Sa'adiah about many alleged inconsistencies between her oral testimony and her defence documents, which were filed in August 2019.
She said Sa'adiah stated in her defence documents that she was started on her prescription for Alprazolam or Xanax for anxiety only in 2018. However, she testified that she began her prescription for this in 2016.
"I put it you that you lied because you wanted to distance yourself from the drugs found in (the babies)," said Ms Seah.
She also disagreed with several assertions by Ms Seah, who said that Sa'adiah lied to distance herself from the drugs found in the babies, by claiming that she was not prescribed nor had taken several drugs even though medical records showed otherwise.
In particular, Sa'adiah had said that she was never prescribed diazepam from 2016 to August 2019, even though medical records showed that she was prescribed this medication 52 times in 2016, and five times in November 2016 alone.
Responding to this, Sa'adiah repeatedly maintained that she had already been prescribed Diazepam before caring for the babies, but eventually said "yes" when asked if she had lied in her filed defence documents.
DID SHE GIVE THE BABY FLU MEDICINE?
The court heard that Sa'adiah had said in a statement to the police that she had crushed half a pill of flu medicine and mixed it with water to give to the younger baby.
This was because the baby had the flu and her mother purportedly asked Sa'adiah if she had any medication. Sa'adiah supposedly said she had flu medicine but added that it is not for children.
However, when pressed by the prosecutor, Sa'adiah said on Wednesday that she did not give the medication to the baby in the end.
"I think back again. Because it's not suitable for her. And it's very complicated to give it to her while she's crying," she said.
She added that she had earlier admitted to giving the baby half a pill because she was "provoked by the police".
When asked by the prosecutor if she had lied in her police statement, Sa'adiah said "yes, it's a lie".
The prosecutor also asserted that Sa'adiah did not actually care for the babies, as she gave them poisons and intentionally hurt them, but Sa'adiah disagreed.
When probed by her defence lawyer Chua Eng Hui from Luo Ling Ling LLC, Sa'adiah teared on the stand.
The trial continues. If found guilty of administering poison with the intent to cause hurt, Sa'adiah can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined. She cannot be caned as she is a woman.