x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Five years for maid who murdered baby

An Ethiopian maid who claimed her baby was stillborn has been jailed for five years for murdering the child.

DUBAI // An Ethiopian maid who claimed her baby was stillborn has been jailed for five years for murdering the child and dumping its body in a rubbish bin. Although SM, 28, was pregnant when she was brought to the UAE to work for an Emirati family, they were unaware of her condition. AM, the head of the household, told the public prosecutor that he had hired the woman through an office in Ajman. He had noticed that "she walked funny", but his family told him the maid was merely suffering from a "hearty appetite" and was otherwise normal.

On the day of the incident, SR, a 35-year-old Indian maid and SM's co-worker, was woken by the defendant's screams at 1.30am. When she tried to find out what was happening, SM said everything was fine and refused to turn on the lights. She then went to the bathroom, at which point SR heard more screams. The next morning, she found a lot of blood in the maids' living quarters. AM discovered that his maid had given birth to a child that was now dead and in a rubbish bag. He called the police.

SM had been accused of beating her child to death with a blunt instrument and was charged with premeditated murder. She denied the charge, insisting the baby had been stillborn. However, a postmortem found the male infant had been born alive and had breathed before he died. The baby had sustained blows to the head and chest from a blunt object, which resulted in multiple skull fractures, bleeding in the brain and a collapsed lung.

The court also ordered SM to be deported after serving her sentence. @Email:hbathish@thenational.ae