Filipina Maid Jailed 9 Months in Singapore For Toddler Abuse

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A Filipino domestic worker has been sentenced to nine months in jail in Singapore on Friday July 13 after she pleaded guilty to two counts of ill-treating her ward, according to a report by Today Online.

Overcome by her emotions during a quarrel with her boyfriend, Leslie Ann Belmonte Dieza took a footage of her abusing her employer’s toddler and sent the videos to her boyfriend, apparently sending a him a message on what she can do when she’s angry.

During the incident, Dieza, 35, was employed for 16 months to an Australian employer whose toddler was also 16 months old at the time.

According to court records, the defendant was married to a Filipino who also worked in Singapore. The couple had a strained relationship after Dieza had an affair with another man, known only as Raymond.

On April 11 this year, shortly before 2pm, Raymond called Dieza using Facebook video call. They got into a heated argument over finances, which led to Dieza’s decision to record videos of her abusing the toddler.

While the boy was lying on bed as she was putting him to sleep, Dieza placed her camera phone on the side of the bed, aimed and captured her physically abusing him.

She pressed his face on the mattress, smothered him with a pillow, shook him while holding onto a pillow around his head, shook and twisted his head while pulling him by his hair, then lifted him by his hair and threw his head against a pillow, according to Today Online.

The video clip lasted one minute and 34 seconds. But it wasn’t enough for the defendant as she took another 35-second video clip later in the day.

Between 2pm and 3pm, Dieza and the toddler were sitting on the kitchen floor when she decided to record another video. She grabbed and extended the boy’s left arm and used a 27cm-long kitchen knife to hit him repeatedly on his buttocks. When he crawled closer to her, she lifted and positioned him directly in front of her, before continuing to hit him.

The videos were then sent to Raymond via Facebook Messenger. Raymond, in turn, told his sister to contact Dieza’s husband, who works as a logistics coordinator, and sent him the videos.

Dieza’s husband met her near her employer’s residence, but she later walked off following an argument. He then reported the incident to the police and Diez was arrested as she returned to her employer’s home.

The toddler was brought to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and was found with a 1 cm-long abrasion on his left heel. Further examination did not reveal other injuries, and he was discharged the following day.

For each charge of ill-treating a child under the Children and Young Persons Act, Dieza could have jailed up to four years and fined up to S$4,000 (P156,805).

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