SINGAPORE - A maid was fined $2,600 on Friday for stealing a handbag and other items from five shops at Nex mall at Serangoon central, a day before she was to return to India to get married.
The Straits Times reported that her former employer paid the fine for her, explaining that she was a "good person who did something foolish, and I wanted to help her to move on in her life".
The incidents occurred on Nov 14 last year. At about 4.15 pm, an Isetan store employee saw Sandeep Kaur, 32, carrying a handbag worth $49.90 out of the store without paying for it.
She was stopped outside the store, where the other items, including a sweater and costume jewellery, were found on her.
When arrested, Kaur admitted to stealing the items, which amounted to $255.
Her former employer, a businessman, bailed her out and allowed her to stay at his home. Kaur, an Indian national, had been due to return to her home country for good and her work permit had been cancelled.
The court heard on Friday that Kaur had never shopped alone, after working in Singapore for seven years.
Her lawyer, Mr S.S. Dhillon, added that the incident has also embarrassed her family in Punjab, as the marriage had to be postponed at the last minute.
Mr Dhillon asked the judge to impose a nominal fine as she is a first-time offender and the value of the stolen items were not high.
District Judge Low Wee Ping said he could not understand why she committed the offences on her last day here, but noted that she had been working dilligently for the past seven years.
According to her former employer, Kaur would be returning to India today.
The maximum penalty for theft is a three-year jail term and a $10,000 fine.