House cleaner cleaned out family's jewellery

A part-time cleaner tidying up a flat ended up cleaning out the family's jewellery drawer. Rafizah Rafie, 32, stole gold jewellery worth about $4,000 from Indian housewife Anitha Lakshmanan.

The single mother was jailed for 10 weeks yesterday after pleading guilty to nine charges of theft from her employer, three of which were proceeded on.

Rafizah had been hired in July 2013 to clean Ms Lakshmanan's Anchorvale flat, where she was paid $14 an hour for around four hours' work.

On nine occasions between February and May last year, Rafizah took jewellery such as bangles or earrings from the drawer. She later pawned the stolen items for between $70 and $750.

Last May, Ms Lakshmanan and her husband, IT consultant Satyanarayanan Karthikeyan, both 34, released their jewellery was missing. They asked Rafizah about the items, but she initially denied taking anything. She confessed later that month.

In mitigation, Rafizah's lawyer Ravinderpal Singh said she was a single mother facing severe financial difficulties and had to support her five young children.

For each count of theft, she could have been jailed up to three years, fined, or both.

This article was first published on May 27, 2015.
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