Date
15 December 2017
Feeling tired or pressured is not a valid excuse for the maid to leave the kids unattended, the court ruled. Photo: RTHK
Feeling tired or pressured is not a valid excuse for the maid to leave the kids unattended, the court ruled. Photo: RTHK

Maid gets 12-month probation for leaving kids unattended at home

A 34-year-old Indonesian domestic helper has been handed a probation order by a Hong Kong court after she pleaded guilty to having left her employer’s two small children unattended at home.

Siti Zamrotun, who had been fired after the incident, told a Tuen Mun Magistrates’ Court she felt sorry for what she did and pleaded guilty before Magistrate Merinda Chow Yin-chu, who sentenced her to two weeks’ imprisonment under a year-long probation. 

The incident took place on Wednesday last week, when a 37-year-old nurse went to work, leaving her two daughters, two years old and 11 months old, with Zamrotun in her flat at Tai Hing Gardens in Tuen Mun.

About an hour into her work, the nurse saw through a remote camera that her daughters were playing in the living room by themselves while the maid was nowhere to be seen.

She called the police and rushed back home.

The police did not find the maid until about eight hours later in the neighborhood.

Zamrotun told the police that she just wanted to leave the home because she felt too much pressure from all the heavy work.

She said she had made sure all the doors and windows were closed before she went out, but still, the prosecution said, the children could have been hurt as there were electrical appliances and outlets in the house.

Fortunately, nothing untoward happened to the children.

In her ruling, the magistrate said a domestic helper is responsible for the safety of her employer’s children and leaving them unattended just because she felt tired is not a valid excuse.

The magistrate said the court must send a message to other maids that such an act is not permissible.

That said, the magistrate decided to show leniency by not putting put the maid behind bars, considering that she is unemployed and owes money to the agency that arranged the job for her.

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TL/AC/CG

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