An Indonesian caregiver who ran away and left a needy but abusive boss unattended at home after working for just one month was found guilty of abandonment and jailed for three months by Taipei District Court.
In March 2015, the daughter of a man surnamed Ho, 81 at the time, hired the defendant via an employment agency to take care of her father, who was physically challenged and had been diagnosed with dementia, Taiwan Apple Daily reported.
The maid told the court that she left the home because she wanted to protect herself from further physical abuse by the elderly man, who allegedly pulled her hair and hit her on the head, arms and body.
The maid stressed that it was not her intention to put the vulnerable man in danger. Knowing that his daughter would deliver lunch, she chose to leave the employer’s home around noon so the old man would not be left unattended for too long after her left.
Mr Ho, who was unable to take care of himself given his physical and mental capabilities, was left at home alone for two hours.
The judge sympathized with the maid, who had only worked in Taiwan for one month and was startled by the attacks by the elderly man. But, the act of running away had inevitably posed dangers to someone so vulnerable, although fortunately he was uninjured during her absence.
So, the maid was found guilty of abandonment and sentenced to three months jail. But as an alternative to jail, she was allowed to pay a fine of NT$90,000 (US$3,069) and be put on probation for two years.