A 33-year-old Indonesian woman was jailed for six months by a court in Singapore on Monday after pleading guilty to ill-treating her employer’s seven-year-old daughter in July this year because the girl refused to practice her spelling.

The worker, referred to as just Hamida, had served the family in a Woodlands flat for seven years, while the girl could not be named due to a gag order to protect her identity, the Lianhe Wanbao (Singapore) reported.

The court learned that at around 4pm on July 27, 2018, when the worker was looking after the girl and her nine-year-old elder sister, she found the child had wet her pants.

Later, when the younger child was instructed to do spelling, but she refused. That prompted the worker to take a one- or two-centimeter-long chili from the refrigerator and stuff it into the girl’s mouth.

The accused also hit the girl on her left shoulder with a cane and hit her head with a wooden cat crawler board, which caused a superficial abrasion, according to the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Inquiries found that the worker behaved like this to startle the girl, as she knew the seven-year-old had a fear of spicy food.

The incident came into light when the girl’s elder sister reported the incidents to her 39-year-old mother, who came home later that day at around 10pm.

The mother told the reporter that Hamida had been working well for the past seven years but she appeared to have got distracted after her mother wanted her to send more money back in July.