Police on Tuesday arrested a 45-year-old Indonesian domestic helper on suspicion of child abuse, after she was caught on camera apparently treating her employers’ five-month-old baby violently at home, Apple Daily reports.
The helper was hired last May by Mr. Cheung, 42, who lives with his wife, a daughter and a son at On Yam Estate in Kwai Chung.
On Monday, Cheung’s wife, who is a teacher, was shocked to discover via a surveillance camera installed at home that the helper was tossing her son violently.
The couple called the police on Tuesday morning and presented two video clips from the CCTV as evidence.
In one of the clips, the helper was seen twisting the baby’s nose and chin for several seconds.
Cheung said it pains him to know that his baby boy was being ill-treated, but he was relieved to learn from a doctor that his son was fine.
He said the helper was married with two children and had worked in Taiwan for six years before coming to Hong Kong.
The couple said the helper appeared very gentle when she started her job, but they noticed changes in her behavior and emotional state lately.
The wife said the helper also admitted using a cup used by their daughter for brushing her teeth to clean up after going to the toilet.
“I just cannot understand why she would not use her own cup, and would rather use my daughter’s,” Mrs. Cheung said.
The couple revealed they considered firing the helper some time last year but they decided to postpone it because they were both busy and the process of terminating her services involved a lot of paper work.
They said they had been unlucky in hiring domestic helpers, noting that the first one they hired disappeared after incurring debts from loan sharks.
“My mother-in-law is coming to help us out for the time being,” Cheung said, adding that, despite their unhappy experiences with maids, they would still seek to hire a new helper.
Chan Kam-fa, a spokesperson for a concern group for employers of domestic helpers, said maids with violent tendencies often face emotional issues.
Chan said the government should make it mandatory for all domestic helpers to undergo a more comprehensive medical examination, which would include an evaluation of their mental and psychological state.
Chan said even one case of child abuse is totally unacceptable, adding that as many as 330,000 domestic helpers are working in Hong Kong at present.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian Migrant Workers Union said the alleged case of child abuse was an isolated one and many other Indonesian helpers are doing their jobs properly and wholeheartedly.
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