Helper accused of spiking employer’s food with steroids, leading to 40lb weight gain

Photo: Alpha/Flickr
Photo: Alpha/Flickr

A domestic helper who allegedly spiked her employer’s food with steroids in an attempt to “cure her skin problems” will go on trial next month after denying the charges in court yesterday.

The defendant, a 39-year-old Indonesian helper named Rinda, was charged with one count of attempting to use harmful substances for the purpose of causing harm to others and four counts of applying harmful items for the purpose of causing harm to others at the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The prosecution said that Rinda put dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, in the food that she made for her female employer, surnamed Chan, and Chan’s two-year-old son, HK01 reports. Between April and October of last year, Chan reportedly gained 30 to 40lbs. When Chan sought medical treatment in October, she learned that she had unknowingly ingested an excessive amount of steroids and suspected that Rinda had tampered with her food.

According to Ming Pao, footage from the family’s home security camera showed the 39-year-old putting pills in the family’s congee on October 8, 10, and 24 last year. During police questioning, Rinda reportedly confessed that she was “trying to cure their skin conditions”.

No one in Chan’s immediate family has been diagnosed with any skin conditions, according to the prosecution.

The court heard that Rinda claimed that the drug was brought to Hong Kong from Indonesia and packaged in tin foil, with no dosage guidelines. The prosecution claimed that Rinda’s actions directly led to Chan’s weight gain, to which the defense replied, “there are many reasons for obesity”.

After indicating that she would enter a guilty plea, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges yesterday and will be remanded in custody until the trial begins on June 24.

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