SINGAPORE: After a man engaged in sexual activities with a family friend, his wife grew angry and allegedly tortured the victim with her family members - using pliers to twist her toes, a hammer to knock out her teeth and splashing boiling water on her.
The man, 33-year-old Egyptian Hany Aboubakr Abdelkarim Abdelfattah, was the first of the lot to be sentenced on Tuesday (Nov 3) and was given three weeks' jail.
He pleaded guilty to voluntarily causing hurt to the victim, a 30-year-old woman with mild intellectual disability, by slapping her face. A second similar charge was taken into consideration.
The court heard that Hany is married to co-accused Haslinda Ismail, 34. They were acquainted with the victim as she was a school friend of Haslinda's brother.
The victim later became acquainted with Haslinda's family and often visited them and grew close to them, calling Haslinda her sister and staying with them when she had her own family problems.
Hany got to know the victim better while he worked at a supermarket and saw her nearly every day as she worked nearby. Between May and June 2016, the victim performed sex acts on Hany at a staircase landing.
Haslinda found out and confronted the victim a few days later when Hany and other family members were around. She scolded the victim and slapped her face, before directing Hany to point his middle finger at the victim and slap her face twice.
He complied and members of Haslinda's family began abusing the victim. They used tools such as a pair of pliers to twist her toes, a hammer to knock out her teeth, a baseball bat to hit her head and boiling water which they splashed on her.
The victim subsequently wore a tudung to cover injuries on her right cheek.
Haslinda's mother stopped taking her to Malaysia to clean the family's flat there as she was afraid the victim might seek help from Singapore immigration officers at the checkpoint.
On Aug 31, 2017, Haslinda brought the victim to another flat to help with her family's Hari Raya Haji preparations. She made the victim stand in the kitchen throughout the night, keeping watch to ensure she did not use the toilet or sleep.
At around 11am the next morning, unable to control her bladder, the victim urinated on the kitchen floor, angering Haslinda, who hit her with a broomstick so hard that it broke in two.
Haslinda then used a hanger to hit the victim's arms and rolled up a wet towel to hit the victim again, said Deputy Public Prosecutors Ang Feng Qian, Li Yihong, Grace Chua and Ng Jun Chong.
She also bound the victim's hands and legs with cable ties and made her continue standing in the kitchen in her soiled trousers. Haslinda's family members arrived for Hari Raya celebrations that day at about 3pm and saw the victim standing in the kitchen with her limbs tied up, but they did nothing.
Hany was also present in the flat and knew how his wife treated the victim, but did not intervene.
When Haslinda's mother arrived at the flat for the celebrations, she bought two packets of noodles for the victim.
But Haslinda threw away one packet and urinated into the other packet. Hany had seen his wife soil the food. Haslinda later demanded that the victim eat the noodles and she complied.
Hany also slapped the victim twice that day because his wife told him to.
Haslinda eventually released the victim from her cable ties only after her family left the flat in the evening.
VICTIM TAKEN TO HOSPITAL NEAR DEATH
Court documents did not state how the offences were uncovered but the victim was near death when she was taken to hospital on Jan 16, 2018.
An IQ assessment found that she scored in the low or extremely low ranges for several categories except her processing speed index, which could not be assessed as the victim was unable to perform the tests due to visual disability arising from the abuse.
She was examined at the Institute of Mental Health and found to have mild intellectual disability since childhood and with deficits in intellectual functions that would have affected her ability to seek help.
The prosecution said while Hany had no previous convictions, he was aware of what the victim had been subjected to. Ms Ang said Hany had admitted to slapping the victim, and the events which led to them "are very cruel".
Hany's lawyers said he is extremely sorry and genuinely remorseful and fully cooperated with the police, giving full disclosure of what happened. He also has to care for two children, one of whom suffers from a learning disability.
The cases for the co-accused, which include several members of Haslinda's family, are pending. Haslinda is set to plead guilty later this month.