Maid who ill-treated boy had 'no medical training', gets 4 months' jail

Maid who ill-treated boy had 'no medical training', gets 4 months' jail
PHOTO: Lianhe Zaobao

A judge sentenced a maid to four months' jail for ill-treating her four-year-old charge when she tried to retrieve a medical device from the boy's throat, saying she had no medical training and bore no malice.

District Judge Low Wee Ping had disagreed with the prosecution's call earlier this month for the maid to be jailed for 18 months, describing it as "manifestly excessive".

Yesterday, he backdated Kusrini Caslan Arja's sentence to Nov 25, when she was first remanded, which allowed her to be released yesterday.

The prosecution will be appealing the sentence.

Pending the appeal, Kusrini, 37, will be staying at the Indonesian Embassy.

Read Also: Maid pleads guilty to ill-treating bedridden boy

As she was unrepresented when she pleaded guilty on March 6, Judge Low had then asked for a lawyer in court to volunteer and represent her.

Mr Mahmood Gaznavi offered his services.

Yesterday in court, the lawyer said Kusrini had only six years of primary education and was not medically trained.

He said that despite this, she was tasked with the care of the bedridden boy, and she received only two days of training from the boy's parents on how to operate a machine to suck phlegm from his windpipe.

Urging the judge to sentence her to four months in jail, the lawyer said: "The present matter is akin to a specialist carpenter asked to perform complicated mechanical works. She is a person of no skills, let alone skills required to nurse a child who is bedridden."

In sentencing, Judge Low said he agreed with Mr Gaznavi's mitigation plea in "almost every aspect".

The boy, who cannot be named because of a court order, has Type 1 spinal muscular atrophy and needs support ventilation and oxygen.

Mr Gaznavi worked on the case with another lawyer, Mr Raeza Ibrahim from Drew and Napier, who had also volunteered to help the maid.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Gaznavi said: "My client is relieved and is sorry for what happened. She just wants to go back to Indonesia."

For ill-treating the boy, Kusrini could have been jailed for up to four years and fined up to $4,000.

ashaffiq@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on March 24, 2017.
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