July 25, 2007 / 1:04 PM / in 10 years

Maid jailed for serving up urine

HONG KONG (Reuters) - An Indonesian maid has been jailed for six days in Hong Kong for serving her boss a cup of water containing urine, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

The 29-year-old pleaded guilty to a charge of “administering poison or other destructive or noxious substance with intent to injure,” but insisted she had used the urine to treat a skin condition and its appearance in her employer’s cup was a mistake.

Her boss, Szeto Ching-han, smelled the urine after asking for a cup of water, and then asked the maid to drink it -- which she did. Szeto, however, kept the liquid to have it tested in a lab, the South China Morning Post said.

The defense argued that the maid’s employer had not drunk the urine and the substance was not poisonous.

“The only contact the former employer had with the so-called poisonous mixture was the smell,” her lawyer was quoted as telling the court.

The magistrate who heard the case said there was no evidence that the maid had suffered any harm after drinking from the cup, but still gave the maid a six-day jail sentence, saying the court “must send a message to the public.”

Maids from the Philippines, Indonesia and Sri Lanka are often the subject of court cases in richer neighbors such as Hong Kong and Singapore, but usually as the victims of rape or other abuse by their employers.

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