A 39-year-old Filipina domestic worker denied bathing a six-month-old baby girl with a mixture of bleach and shower gel when she appeared in the Sha Tin Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Merlyn Anao Ando pleaded not guilty to one count of ill-treatment by those in charge of a child or young person, but deputy magistrate Jerry Chung Ming-shing concluded prosecutors had established a prima facie case against her, the Sing Tao Daily reported.

Ando was arrested after her employer accused her using a mixture of bleach and shower gel to bath the baby girl in the apartment in Fo Tan in the New Territories in August last year.

The court heard that the incident happened on August 13 last year, one day before Ando was due to leave after she had resigned.

The mother told the court that she, the defendant and another Filipina domestic worker had prepared to bath the baby girl. Shower gel and flora water would be added to the bath water.

The mother noticed the color of the bath water deepen when flora water was added to it. She checked with the two workers and they said they followed the bathing procedures as usual.

The woman put her daughter in the water, but she felt something hot on her hand and her daughter started crying. Chan questioned the workers and was told that there was bleach inside the shower gel bottle.

She was shocked and immediately washed the baby with water and called police. Police arrived and found red spots on the baby’s abdomen and right thigh. She was sent to a hospital, but a doctor said there were no obvious marks or injuries on the girl. The girl was discharged on the same day.

The defense lawyer said Ando had added bleach to the shower gel bottle to help clean the washroom. But the employer said she was not aware of this practice, the Oriental Daily reported.

The defense lawyer also said the employer was distracted when she bathed her girl as she and Ando had been in discussion over the money issue about the resignation.

The hearing will continue on Friday.

Read: Filipino maid accused of mixing bleach into baby’s bath gel