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Uganda toddler abuse maid jailed for four years

15 December 2014, 12:57

Kampala - A Ugandan maid was jailed for four years Monday for abusing a toddler in a case that shocked the country after a graphic video of the assault was made public.

The 22-year-old maid, Jolly Tumuhiirwe, originally pleaded guilty last week to torture, but later the charge was reduced to abuse, to which she also pleaded guilty to on Friday.

Chief Magistrate Lillian Buchan told Tumuhiirwe she had committed an "unjustifiable and inexcusable" crime.

She gave her a four-year sentence due to the "ruthlessness exhibited" on an "innocent, helpless child."

Worried parents, who installed a hidden camera to film when they were at work, were shocked to see the footage showing the maid throwing their 18-month-old daughter to the floor.

Also read: Family of beaten Uganda toddler still traumatised

Tumuhiirwe is seen trying to force feed the child, before slapping her hard. After the girl vomits, the maid throws her facedown on to a hard floor, then hits her with a torch on the bottom.

She then kicks the child's face and stomach before putting her entire weight on the girl's back, and then drags her out of the room, apparently unconscious.

The video has been seen or shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media.

Tumuhiirwe on Monday remained apparently emotionless as her sentence was handed down in a court in Kampala.

Ugandan newspapers called the footage "spine-chilling" and "very disturbing."

The child was left bruised and shaken.

The case has gathered wide attention in Uganda, where many middle class parents hire maids to look after their children. Maids in Uganda are often poorly paid, and regularly live in the houses where they work.



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