Maid jailed for abusing toddler, says she was frustrated over husband’s affair

SINGAPORE (CNA) – A foreign domestic worker was sentenced to eight months’ jail yesterday for abusing her employer’s three-year-old son, purportedly out of frustration over her husband’s affair back in the Philippines.

Filipina Mesias Richel Rizada, 31, pleaded guilty to one charge of ill-treating a three-year-old boy by slapping, pushing and hitting him on the night of August 22, 2019.

The court heard that Rizada had been working for the victim’s family since December 2018, performing chores and taking care of the victim, whose identity is protected by gag order.

Rizada was with the victim and the victim’s grandmother reading and playing in a room on August 22 last year.

ACTS OF ABUSE IN ONE HOUR

The maid then took the boy to go to sleep in their shared bed at about 9pm. However, she rough-handled him in the hour that passed, in acts caught on closed-circuit television camera footage.

She was seen tossing him from the lower part of the bed to the top, forcefully pushing his head away when he rested it on her, slapping his back and pulling his leg.

She also slapped his back when the boy got up to play with his toys and pushed his face onto the bed by his neck when he got up to pick up his bolster.

The maid also slapped the back of his head and hit his back with her foot, slapped his cheek and head, and jerked him forward by the shoulders.

Other acts include hitting his mouth, holding his chin and jerking his head to the right before slapping him.

Sometime during the abuse, the boy’s grandmother checked the CCTV and saw Rizada hitting her grandson. She notified the boy’s parents and they returned home.

SLAPPED BOY TO KEEP HIM QUIET

Rizada did not want them to hear the boy, who was crying, so she slapped him and asked him to keep quiet.

As the boy played with toys at the foot of the bed, Rizada picked him up and flipped him to another side of the bed, before using her arm to push the back of his head.

She also slammed his head onto the bed, flicked his hand and hit his face with a soft toy.

The abuse ended when the boy’s family entered the room to pick him up.

The boy’s parents were unsure of what to do, so they consulted their friends and maid agency and subsequently called the police.

RIZADA’S CLAIMS

When she was confronted, Rizada initially claimed that she had merely used her leg to try and stop the victim from falling off the bed.

However, she later admitted that she lost her patience with the boy and assaulted him as she “was frustrated because her husband had an affair with another woman in the Philippines”.

The boy was examined at a hospital on August 24, 2019, and no obvious bruises were noted.

He was discharged with a few days’ medical leave after being ascertained to be well.

Rizada cried as she gave her mitigation, apologising to the victim and her employers. She said she wished to go back to her country and take her child back from her husband since he had gone to be with another woman.

She asked for a chance and said she would not do it again.

For ill-treating a child under her care, she could have been jailed for up to four years, fined a maximum SGD4,000, or both.