SINGAPORE — A domestic helper accused of mixing her menstrual blood and urine into her former employer’s food was convicted and sentenced to nine weeks’ jail on Wednesday (8 December).
The Filipina helper, 44, had claimed trial to one count of mischief by mixing some of her urine and menstrual blood into food meant for consumption by her employer’s family, causing a change in the food as to diminish its utility.
She appeared in court with luggage and a backpack on Wednesday and indicated through her lawyer that she wanted to begin her jail term immediately.
In finding her guilty, the trial judge found that the maid's earlier admissions about the "disgusting" act, committed in 2019, should be accepted as the truth.
Facts of the case
The maid was employed on a two-year contract as a helper from May 2017. She lived with the family and had her contract extended at the end of her two years. The family members cannot be named due to a gag order imposed by the court to protect their identities.
The maid was tasked to care of her employer’s children, and to cook the family’s three meals. She was free to buy any ingredients she wanted, and would at times cook her own food, while cooking separately for the family.
Her male employer discovered what she had done when he received a text from an unknown number on 15 December 2019. He recognised the profile photo of the number as the maid’s ex-boyfriend. The man told the employer that the maid's had put menstrual blood and urine into the family’s food.
He lodged a police report, and officers arrived at the residence to speak to the maid. She admitted to the offence then and apologised to the male employer and his wife. The maid also confessed the offences to a police officer at the residence and an investigation officer who recorded her statements.
During her trial, the maid sought to argue that her previous admissions about the offences were a lie as she was afraid that her ex-boyfriend - whom she claimed instigated her into offending - would take retaliatory action against her.
The maid claimed that the ex-boyfriend, who has since died, threatened to physically abuse her, withdraw financial support of her, or sabotage her employment.
However, District Judge Toh Han Li found these concerns to be baseless as the maid had not been in contact with the ex-boyfriend for some time. She conceded under cross examination that she had no reason to be scared of him while she was under investigation.
Furthermore, the ex-boyfriend could not have sabotaged her employment, as she had been terminated since 16 December 2019.
The judge also found it “odd” that the maid would implicate him in her statement if she had been so afraid of him, as doing so would have subjected him to investigations as her co-accused. DJ Toh concluded that the maid’s attempts to resile herself from her previous admissions were not credible and convicted her on the charge.
In mitigation, the maid’s lawyer Kalaithasan Karuppaya said that his client had been in Singapore for nearly two years without an income since investigations began against her. The maid had been under the care of the Philippines embassy and a shelter.
Her family, including four children aged 11, 13, 18, 23, and aged parents, are heavily reliant on her income, said the lawyer.
The maid could have been jailed up to a year, or fined, or both, on a charge of mischief.
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