SINGAPORE: In the year before her employer died, an Indonesian maid repeatedly stole cash and jewellery worth about S$7,000 despite being caught early on.
After the elderly victim died, her son called the police. The maid was sentenced to seven months’ jail on Friday (May 8) for theft by a servant.
The court heard that Eti Maryati, 45, was hired in 2015 to care for the elderly woman, who was in her seventies at the time.
While working, Eti realised that the victim kept jewellery and cash in a locked drawer and the key to the drawer under her pillow.
About three years into her employment, on Oct 9, 2018, Eti began stealing from the victim.
She took the key from under the pillow and unlocked the drawer, taking cash and jewellery from it and getting friends to pawn the precious items off for money.
The victim’s son discovered the theft soon after the first instance in October 2018, but decided to give her another chance.
He confronted Eti, and Eti assured him that she would not repeat the crime, so he did not report it to the police immediately.
However, Eti continued stealing. She did so for a year until Oct 6, 2019, the day the elderly woman died.
The last piece of jewellery left in the drawer was a gold bangle, but Eti took this and arranged for it to be pawned off.
On Oct 6, 2019, the elderly woman died aged 76. Her son checked her drawer and realised that Eti had taken the gold bangle.
He called the police late that night and reported the matter, and Eti was arrested.
She did not make any restitution for the items or cash, and the victim’s son spent S$6,030 in total to redeem the pawned-off items from shops.
He did not manage to retrieve the gold bangle, which Eti had pawned off for S$680.
The prosecutor asked for at least seven months’ jail. Eti, who did not have a lawyer, cried in her mitigation and asked for leniency.
She said through an interpreter that she was the sole breadwinner of her family and that her husband had divorced her.
However, the prosecutor argued that the victim was elderly and had hired Eti precisely because of her old age.
Although Eti had been confronted once, she persisted in her conduct and made no restitution, said the prosecutor.
The judge said the sentence requested by the prosecution was a fair one and imposed it.
For theft by a servant, Eti could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.
Published at Fri, 08 May 2020 04:50:37 +0000