Maid laced beverages with pesticide

Maid laced beverages with pesticide

Unhappy that her employer's daughter had scolded her, a maid decided to take revenge by spraying insecticide into her beverages.

But the 25-year-old daughter got suspicious after her bird's nest and soya bean milk tasted and smelled funny. She sent samples to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, which confirmed the drinks were laced with chemicals.

Yesterday, the 24-year-old maid, Anah Dewi Lanjarsih, was sentenced to four months in jail after pleading guilty to committing a rash act to endanger the life of Ms Ng Jia Min.

The Indonesian committed the criminal act on Jan 3 as an "act of revenge" for the various scoldings she had received from Ms Ng.

Alone in her employer's home in Serangoon at around 6pm, Lanjarsih took a can of pesticide and sprayed it into the container and carton which contained the drinks, knowing that only Ms Ng would consume them.

Pleading for leniency, her lawyer S. Balamurugan said Lanjarsih acknowledged her act was wrong, but added that she was deeply unhappy and had wanted a change in employers.

She felt she had been unfairly treated by Ms Ng and had acted without thinking about the consequences, he added.

Mr Balamurugan said scoldings were given "unjustifiably" for the slightest of mistakes, and that the maid was accused of being "lazy" and "untrustworthy".

The lawyer also gave examples of "demanding" expectations Ms Ng allegedly had of Lanjarsih, including telling the maid not to hang their clothes together, failing which she would be made to wash them again.

According to a medical report from the Institute of Mental Health, Lanjarsih, who came to Singapore last September, has "borderline to low average intellectual functioning" and an inability to communicate in English.

She is expected to be released soon from Changi Women's Prison, considering the more than six months spent in remand, and then repatriated home. The maid, who had no previous convictions, could have been jailed for up to six months and fined $2,500.

This article was first published on July 26, 2014.
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