Child abuse
Child ill-treated by house maid (Representational picture) Pixabay

A 36-year-old married Filipino maid was sentenced to nine months of imprisonment on Friday, July 13 for abusing her employer's baby and sending the video of the incident that showed the crying child in pain to her lover.

The accused, Leslie Ann Belmonte Dieza arrived in the country in 2016 while looking for a job as a domestic helper. She married a Singapore based logistics coordinator. But, the marriage faced many issues as the woman was involved in an extramarital affair with a man named Raymond.

However, during the court came to know that on April 11, 2018, while working as a maid at a unit owned by an Australian national, she abused her employer's child, whom she was supposed to take care of. The toddler was just one year old at the time of the incident.

As reported, the offence took place when she was arguing with her lover, Raymond during a video call on Facebook between 2 pm and 3 pm. Dieza then decided to record the video of herself while she was abusing the child. The court documents clarified that the accused wanted to show her what she can do after being angry and that is the reason behind the abuse.

At that time of the incident, the infant was laying on the bed, while Dieza placed the mobile phone on the side of the bed and started recording. The 1 minute 34 seconds long video showed that the accused pressed the baby's face into the mattress, tried to suffocate him by using a pillow and shook him.

As mentioned in the court documents, the in video it was clear that the maid pulled the child and lifted upwards by his air and then threw him on the pillow. The child victim started to cry out of pain during the abuse and it could be heard in the same video.

On the same day, again Dieza again abused the child in the kitchen premises and decided to record it also. The 35-second long, another disturbing footage showed that she grabbed his arm and reputedly hit the child's buttocks with the broad side of a kitchen knife.

When the accused sent those videos to Raymond, he his sister to contact Dieza's husband, who later received both the videos and went to meet his wife. After an argument between the husband and his Filipino wife, the man called the police and told the officers that his wife is not mentally fit to take care of a baby. In addition, he said he is concerned about the baby as well as about his job, which he cannot lose because of Dieza.

Police immediately arrested the maid from the unit and took the child to a hospital, where the doctors found a 1cm-long abrasion on his foot and two old scabs on the back side of the baby.

On Friday, District Judge Jasvender Kaur considered two charges of ill-treating child and sentenced the maid to nine months of imprisonment.

As per the Children and Young Persons Act, a person could be convicted in case of – a) any actual suffering or injury on the part of the child or young person or the likelihood of any suffering or injury on the part of the child or young person was obviated by the action of another person; or

b) the death of the child or young person in respect of whom the offence is committed.

In the case where death is caused to the child or young person, the convict would face a fine not exceeding $20,000 or an imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years or to both. In other cases, the guilty would be liable for a fine not exceeding $4,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 4 years or to both.