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Jail for maid who used employer’s facial cream, spat and put toilet bowl water in family’s jug

SINGAPORE — A domestic worker was sentenced to four weeks’ jail on Monday (Sept 27) for using her employer’s facial products, as well as spitting into the family’s water jug and putting toilet bowl water in it.

Jail for maid who used employer’s facial cream, spat and put toilet bowl water in family’s jug

Gozar Rose Magtanong, who claimed that she had been mistreated by her employer, pleaded guilty to one charge each of mischief and dishonest misappropriation of property.

  • Gozar Rose Magtanong used her employer’s cosmetic products several times in 2020
  • When they took her to an employment agency intending to fire her, she admitted to spitting in the family’s water jug
  • She also confessed to filling the jug with water from the toilet bowl on many occasions
  • Her lawyer argued that she worked under poor conditions and had asked many times to be transferred to another household

 

SINGAPORE — A domestic worker was sentenced to four weeks’ jail on Monday (Sept 27) for using her employer’s facial products, as well as spitting into the family’s water jug and putting toilet bowl water in it.

Gozar Rose Magtanong, 32, who claimed that she had been mistreated by her employer, pleaded guilty to one charge each of mischief and dishonest misappropriation of property.

The court heard that the Filipina worked for a Singapore permanent resident, her husband and their two-year-old son in a condominium unit around the Marine Parade area.

In June last year, Gozar’s employer noticed that her cosmetic creams, which she placed in her master bedroom, were depleting faster than usual. She also noticed finger impressions in the creams when she herself would only lightly swipe through the product.

She then installed closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras overlooking her kitchen and the bedroom’s walk-in wardrobe.

Upon reviewing the footage, she discovered that Gozar had used the creams on 28 occasions from July 29 to Sept 8 last year.

The products were: Revive facial serum, Etude House facial cream and La Prairie anti-wrinkle cream valued at a total of S$797.

After this, the couple took her to JPB Employment Agency on Sept 10 with the intention of terminating Gozar’s employment.

When interviewed by the agency’s customer service officer, Gozar then admitted that she also spat her saliva into a jug that held drinking water for the whole family.

She also confessed that on many occasions, she had filled the jug with water from the toilet bowl. She did so by dipping a rag, which she had used to wipe the television and tables, inside the toilet bowl. She then wrung the rag into a small pail containing water used to clean the television and tables, before transferring water from the pail into the jug.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Grace Teo told the court that Gozar began doing all this in September 2019 and said that she had no reason for doing so.

A few days after what she disclosed at the agency, Gozar’s employer then reviewed footage from the CCTV overlooking the kitchen and saw that Gozar had spat into the water jug on Aug 31.

The employer, her husband and son had unwittingly drank from it afterwards.

'SCOLDED FOR EATING EGGS'

In mitigation, Gozar’s lawyer Kevin Liew laid out some of the alleged mistreatment that the worker went through when she was employed. 

DPP Teo said that the Ministry of Manpower is investigating her claims that she is owed two months and 10 days’ of salary.

Mr Liew told the court: “She was put under a less than favourable environment. This is not to absolve herself of her mistake, but she urges the court to take cognisance of the stressors she was facing. These were not actively provided by Gozar but it came out when we questioned her on why she did it.”

The defence counsel alleged that Gozar would sleep at midnight and wake up around dawn. Her employer also purportedly kept her mobile phone so that Gozar could not contact her family.

Mr Liew added: “Her diet would be considered by a reasonable person to be poor. This includes bread and coffee in the morning, and porridge in the afternoon and leftovers in the evening.

“She was reprimanded for eating eggs in the residence. She weighed nearly 40kg when employed there. When she made mistakes, she would be scolded (for) being stupid.”

The lawyer said that Gozar, who used to work as a retail assistant in the Philippines selling cosmetic products, had asked on numerous occasions to be transferred.

She told the employment agency that she wanted to run away, but was convinced to stay in the household and provide for her three children back home in the Philippines.

In response, DPP Teo said that these complaints were not borne out by present investigations and that they should have no mitigating weight on the sentence to be imposed, since she did not need to commit the offences.

District Judge Ng Peng Hong agreed, saying that what she did was “certainly something that cannot be condoned”.

“If you have any grievances, there are legitimate channels for you to (air them) but it’s not right to do it the way you’ve done,” he told Gozar.

For both offences of mischief and misappropriation, she could have been jailed for up to two years or fined, or both.

Related topics

court crime maid foreign domestic worker spit employer mischief

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