Woman who pinched, punched Indonesian maid jailed

Woman who pinched, punched Indonesian maid jailed

SINGAPORE: A 49-year-old woman who repeatedly pinched her Indonesian maid's face and arms so hard she left fingernail marks and abrasions was on Monday (Feb 25) sentenced to three months and two weeks in jail.

According to court documents, Lee Siew Choon started pinching the maid, 23-year-old Yani, shortly after she started work at her Jurong flat in May 2016.

Lee would pinch her arms, back and side of her body whenever she made mistakes with such force that it left fingernail marks and abrasions, the court heard.

At the flat where Lee lived with her husband and two grown-up sons, the victim started work at 5.25am and finished at around midnight. She did not have any days off and did not have a mobile phone, the court heard.

Sometime between May and August 2016, Lee took issue with the way Yani was cutting onions in the kitchen, picked up the knife and "tapped" the victim on her face with the side of the blade, causing the victim alarm, the court heard. 

On another occasion, on Aug 1, Lee punched the maid in the eye and used a wooden pole used for drying clothes to hit her left arm. She then pinched Yani's right hand.

The same day, Yani ran away from the flat after Lee, a clerk, left home for work. The maid walked around the estate and approached passers-by for help. Someone gave her some coins and she used them to call the police on a public phone.  

"My employer always assaulted me," she told the police, according to court documents. The police arrived shortly after and took her to the police station.

The victim was taken to the National University Hospital, where she was found to have multiple abrasions and other injuries. A follow-up medical examination also showed old scars of less than 1cm in length over her entire abdominal wall, lower back and both her upper limbs.

As of Aug 23 last year, her marks were still visible, according to court documents.

District Judge Eddy Tham, in meting out Lee's sentence, said that he took into account her remorse, her compensation of more than S$6,000 and the adjustment disorder that she suffered from. He noted that Yani's scars were healing.

Lee could have been jailed up to two years and fined a maximum of S$5,000.

Source: CNA/ec(hs)