Maid tells jury that employer and her children had threatened to kill her
The Ethiopian maid who poured boiling water on her Emirati employer’s children and attacked them with a cleaver at a house in Al Warqa confessed before the Dubai Criminal Court to the accusations.
She also admitted – via a translator provided by her country’s embassy — to attempting to kill herself after the attack and to stealing Dh640 from her employer and damaging her sponsor’s property.
However, the accused told the jury that the mother, 42, Emirati teacher, and her three children had threatened to kill her before she asked her employer to let her go home.
“They threatened to kill me and when I asked them to let me go home later, they refused and again threatened to kill me,” she told the jury.
The defence lawyer assigned by the court asked for hearing the testimonies of some witnesses and the court will reconvene on June 18.
In the previous hearing, YS, 25, started weeping when she stood before the jury presided by Maher Salama Al Mahdi and asked that she only wants to go home.
The judge tried to calm her and asked her if she did pour boiling water on her employer’s three children and attacked them with a knife.
The maid was not conversant in Arabic and was provided an English translator. However, she was unable to speak English too, but was crying and murmuring phrases that none could understand.
The judge tried to make her understand the allegations after she said that she knew only a little Arabic.
The only phrase that she could make clear after being asked again about the allegations was: “I just want to go home.”
The judge answered her that the court has to hear her case first. After that she resumed weeping.
The jury decided that it was difficult to understand the accused, and asked for a translator for Amharic, the Ethiopian language of the accused.
The court also ordered assigning a lawyer to defend the accused who is incapable of appointing one.
Dubai Prosecution had asked the court to impose the stiffest possible penalty against YS and accused her of premeditated attempt to kill her employer’s three children, two girls AM and RM, aged 15 and 14 respectively, and a son KM aged 10.
The prosecution said she had waited till the children were left in her custody after their mother left the UAE for Jordan for medical treatment before attempting to kill them.
At around 7am, the accused came carrying a boiler and a cleaver and first poured boiling water on the two girls who were sleeping on their bed.
After pouring the water on the elder girl, she stabbed her several times in the head and neck then turned on the younger one and did the same before turning on the boy who was sleeping on the floor in the same room and attacked him similarly.
“We rushed to the hall to call the police but we were stuck as the wires of the telephone were cut. When she ran after us with the chopper in her hand, we rushed to the bathroom and locked the door with its key and called the police using a mobile phone,” the elder girl AM told investigators from her bed in Rashid Hospital.
The children stayed in the bathroom screaming and shouting for help until policemen came. They were scared to open the door although they were told that it is the police, Corporal Ahmad Al Bloushi told investigators.
He also said finally the children opened the door and were in a very bad condition and bleeding from different parts of their bodies and burnt in their faces and necks.
The corporal was rushed to the flat at Al Warqa 2 by Dubai Police’s operations room.
“My colleague and I reached to the location within five minutes. We knocked at the door and rang the bell but did not hear any response. After taking the permission from our senior, we broke open the door. The hall was in a big mess and blood was all over the place. We heard the screams of the children from the bathroom, so we tried to calm them down and convinced them to open the door. The children were bleeding and had burns in their faces and necks. They were rushed to Rashid Hospital,” the corporal told investigators.
Policemen found the maid sitting in the kitchen’s balcony holding a blood-stained knife.
“We had a hard time to convince her to drop the knife and surrender,” he said.
The maid claimed that she did what she did because her employer did not allow her to go home despite her repeated requests.
The mother of the victims learnt about the attack only after she returned home after two days.
Refuting the maid’s claims, she told investigators that the accused had been working for her for about two years and she had been treating her well and transferring her salary to her country every three months.
She claimed that she did not know what to do about a complaint lodged against her by the maid with the DNRD asking for cancellation of her visa and leaving for good.
“I had lost her passport which I had been keeping since she worked for me. I did not know what to do in this situation and which department I should contact, so I decided to increase her monthly salary from Dh500 to Dh700,” the employer told Corporal Al Bloushi.
Later, the maid asked her again to let her go home. So her employer decided to cancel her visa after the arrival of another maid she had applied for.
“I had applied for a Filipina and was waiting for her arrival. I had to travel to Jordan for medical treatment for two days and so I asked the children to stay with their grandmother. But as they said they cannot move all their things and since I was going away for only two days, I let them stay with the maid in the our house,” the mother said.
Forensic reported that the children had sustained wounds in their heads, faces and necks in addition to second-degree burns, mostly in their faces, necks and backs.
The maid is also being prosecuted for attempted suicide as she had tried to kill herself with two knives by wounding herself in the neck before her arrest.
YS is also accused of theft as police confiscated Dh540 from her and of destroying property.
In an earlier press statement, Dubai’s Attorney General Issam Isa Al Humaidan said the penalty for premeditated murder attend could be a sentence of life in jail.
“We ask the court to impose the stiffest penalty against the accused because of the brutality of her crime. The accused was determined to kill the children despite their cries. She continued to attack them with the chopper though they were bleeding,” he said.
Al Humaidan pointed out that attempting to kill the children as revenge against their mother, who had refused to send the housemaid home, cannot be justified at all. Her motive should not prevent imposition of the stiffest penalty.
However, society should take this crime as a lesson and should learn from it to help avoid such incidents, he added.
Al Humaidan said Dubai Prosecution has finished investigating the case. The housemaid had made a detailed confession of what she did and her motives.
He noted that the Prosecution had faced a major difficulty in hearing the testimonies of the elder girl and her sister and brother because of their burns and wounds and their psychological condition after the attack by the housemaid.
The three children spoke about their moments of terror when they woke up as the maid attacked them with a chopper and poured boiled water on them.
Forensic reported that the victims survived burns and wounds that have not yet healed fully.