An Indonesian maid had pleaded guilty on Thursday to flicking her fingers at the face of the two-year-old boy in her care, causing a swollen lip.
Leni Yusanti was fined $100 after District Judge Low Wee Ping agreed with her lawyer that it had been an exceptional case, noting the "very troubling, worrying and startling facts" about how she was treated by her Singaporean employers.
Defence counsel Freddie Lim had said that Yusanti, 25, was made to work from 6am to 1am or 2am every day. Her breakfast of two slices of bread was at about 8am; lunch of a packet of instant noodles was often at 5pm and dinner of either the family's leftovers or instant noodles often after midnight. She slept on a mat on the kitchen floor.
Her employers also did not pay her in full and it was only after intervention by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) did they settle the outstanding sum of $300, said her lawyer.
It was under these stressful conditions that she had committed the offence on Nov 25, 2011, said Mr Lim.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Navindraram Naidu had earlier told the court that Yusanti's employers had installed miniature video cameras in their Bishan flat. On Nov 25, 2011, it captured the maid injuring the child while trying to put him to sleep on the sofa in the living room.
There is a gag order on details that could identify the boy.
Mr Lim represented Yusanti for free at the request of migrant welfare group Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics. She could have been jailed up to two years, or fined up to $5,000, or to both.
In 2007, a Filipino maid, 27, was jailed a week for pinching a three-month-old baby.