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Indonesian maid charged in Singapore over death of 1-year-old girl

  • Amir Hussain

    The Straits Times/ANN

Singapore   /   Tue, May 10, 2016   /  06:22 pm
Indonesian maid charged in Singapore over death of 1-year-old girl Indonesian maid Maryani Usman Utar (center) was charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder in Singapore on Tuesday. (AP/Wong Kwai Chow )

An Indonesian migrant worker in Singapore was on Tuesday charged over the death of a toddler in her care.

Maryani Usman Utar, 30, had allegedly caused the death of one-year-old Richelle Teo Yan Jia "by punching her on her neck and gripping her neck tightly with all your strength until she stopped crying, with the knowledge that such acts were likely to cause her death".

Maryani has been charged with committing culpable homicide not amounting to murder, with the knowledge that her actions were likely to cause death, but without intention to cause death.

She allegedly committed the offense between 2 a.m. and 7.36 a.m. on Sunday (May 8), at Block 225 Simei Street 4.

If convicted of the charge, she faces a maximum sentence of 10 years' jail and a fine.

Maryani stood expressionless in the dock as an Indonesian interpreter read her charge out to her.

District Judge Christopher Goh granted the police prosecutor's request to remand her for a week, with permission to be taken out for investigations.

The case will be mentioned again on May 17.

Maryani was arrested after Richelle was found unconscious by her father at home on Sunday morning with bruises on her neck and head.

The girl's lips had reportedly turned purple, and she was pronounced dead in hospital just after 10 a.m.

Maryani was not at home when the toddler was found unconscious as it was her day off, reported Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao. She had reportedly been out since 8 a.m.

Police arrested Maryani in the Marina Bay Area later that day.

She was taken back to the Housing Board flat by investigators on May 9.

She is believed to have worked for the family for more than a year. It was her first job in Singapore.

Richelle's family were at the mortuary on May 9 to identify her body, reported evening daily Shin Min Daily News. They included her parents, elder brother, aunt and grandparents.

Richelle had reportedly celebrated her first birthday just five days before her death.

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