‘Why did you kill our daughter?’ Parents beg for reason outside Dubai courtroom
DUBAI // The distraught parents of a dead 11-month-old girl begged the maid accused of her murder to tell them why she had done it, in heartbreaking scenes outside a courtroom on Thursday.
The Indian parents sobbed as they asked R T, 29, to say why she killed their baby. The maid, also Indian, pleaded not guilty in Dubai Criminal Court to premeditated murder.
She bowed her head, clasped her hands and cried when she saw the parents outside court. A policeman intervened.
“I just put her to bed. She had a scarf on her shoulders at the time,” the maid said in court. “How could I do such a thing when I am a mother myself?”
Outside, after being blocked from speaking to the maid, the 36-year-old mother F K said: “We treated her so well. She was like a sister to me. We ate on the same table.”
Her weeping husband added: “We celebrated her birthday and took her out for an ice-cream treat after we bought her some gifts.
“I often told her that I would pay for whatever her children need back in India, and I was even looking for a job for her husband to bring him here so they could be together.”
Prosecutors said the maid confessed to killing the baby after her sponsors refused to let her travel for her mother’s funeral because they had no one else to look after their children.
They allege that on January 18 the maid waited for her sponsors to leave their Al Nahda, Sharjah home for work at 10am before wrapping a scarf around the baby’s neck and strangling her, then went on with her chores. The child died about 11am.
The baby was rushed to Zulekha Hospital in Dubai. Doctors there reported the matter to police, suspecting foul play.
The little girl’s aunt told the court she called her sister about 3pm and told her the maid had rung and said the baby was not waking up and had breathing difficulties.
“I arrived at the home in about 10 minutes and saw the baby in the maid’s lap,” the aunt said. “I tried to wake her up, calling her name, but she did not respond.
“So I rushed her to the hospital, where they told me she had been dead for two hours. When they asked me about her death I said she might have suffocated while drinking milk but later police told me that the maid had confessed to strangling the baby.”
She said the maid was loved by her sister’s children and was good at her job, but her mother had recently died. “We knew from her that her mother had passed away about a month ago and we asked to wait until her residency procedures were finished,” the aunt said.
A forensics report confirmed there was a bruise around the baby’s neck from a tightened scarf, and that she had bruising around her mouth from being gagged to stop her making noise.
The next hearing was scheduled for May 22 to appoint a defence lawyer.
* The article has been amended since it was first published.
Published: May 1, 2014 04:00 AM