Kusrini Caslan Arja, 37, had her sentence doubled by the Court of Appeal for ill treating her bedridden charge, a young 4 year-old boy suffering from Type 1 spinal muscular atrophy.

Kusrini was working for her Singaporean employers and was tasked with taking care of the child, who has problems moving about and taking care of his own daily living. His condition also requires a medical device to remove his phlegm and mucus, which includes a suction cap that is attached to a tube and is about the size of an adult’s thumb.

Although Kusrini was instructed to only place the suction cap outside the boy’s nose and lips, she placed the suction cap inside the boy’s mouth, which caused it to get lodged in the boy’s throat when it accidentally was detached from the tube.

She tried to fish out the cap from his mouth, persisting for 8 minutes even though her hand was covered in his blood. She later hid the fact that the boy was suffering from her employers for 12 hours until the boy’s parents discovered blood in his suction machine. Even then, she refused to come clean, which left the parents no choice but to call the police.

In doubling her jail term, Judge of Appeal Tay Yong Kwang described Kusrini’s acts of digging in the child’s throat as “unthinkable”. He noted that she was not being punished for being untrained, but for her “cold disregard” for the child’s safety.

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