Former childcare teacher jailed for stealing laptop, colleagues’ cash from 2 centres
SINGAPORE — A 28-year-old woman was jailed for three weeks on Wednesday (June 22) after stealing items from two childcare centres where she worked.
Amethyst Theresa Pakianathan, who is now five months’ pregnant, was employed as a childcare teacher at Edufirst Learning Centre in Yishun when she stole a laptop there on May 16, 2018.
It was her first day of work, the court heard.
When the centre owner was notified about the missing Asus laptop, she checked closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage and saw Amethyst leaving the centre that evening.
She had concealed the laptop behind a magazine. She then sold the device, which was valued at S$329, to a secondhand phone dealer in Yishun for S$130.
The laptop was later sold to another buyer for S$130, but the police recovered it during their investigations and returned it to the childcare centre’s owner.
Amethyst has since made restitution to the buyer.
State Prosecuting Officer Raj Kishore Rai told the court that Amethyst was given a conditional warning over this theft but re-offended about two years later on Feb 14, 2020.
Having found a new job at Raffles Kidz International in Yio Chu Kang, she then took S$20 from another colleague’s handbag that had been left unattended.
She spent the money on her personal needs.
More than a week later, she took S$100 in cash from a 52-year-old colleague’s handbag that had been left unattended in a classroom.
Court documents showed that she also filched beauty products, namely blusher and lipstick, from a third colleague.
In March, one of the staff members told the childcare centre’s manager that someone had stolen her personal items from a classroom.
The manager discovered what Amethyst had done after reviewing CCTV footage. She then broadcasted a message to her employees, asking for the perpetrator to own up to the theft.
Amethyst admitted to her offences the next day. The manager then called the police.
She has since made restitution to the colleagues from whom she stole.
The prosecution sought four weeks’ jail, noting that Amethyst pleaded guilty to three theft charges, with another three counts taken into consideration for sentencing.
In mitigation, Amethyst told Principal District Judge Toh Han Li that she was taking full responsibility for her actions and has gotten married since her last offence.
“I have decided to never do anything that puts me in this kind of position again.
“I just hope you’ll understand I have changed… At the time, it was a spur of the moment and I have kept my life clean for the past two years. I believe I will keep my life clean for the rest of my life," she added.
She also asked the judge if she could give birth before going to prison, but he urged her to promptly serve her jail sentence and not be separated from her child.
For each theft offence, she could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.