SINGAPORE — Over 16 months, a 27-year-old maid from Indonesia had her ear pulled, her head knocked and her face slapped, a court heard.
The victim’s employer Yusni Yunos, 46, even kicked her so hard that it caused a blue-black on her knee, then pretended that it was an accident by saying “sorry” and “accidentally”.
Fearing for their safety, the victim, together with another maid who was meant to replace her, both fled by climbing out a window of the ground-floor flat in Punggol.
At the State Courts on Thursday (23 January), Yusni was sentenced to four months’ jail after he pleaded guilty to three charges of causing hurt. Another six counts of causing hurt were considered in sentencing.
The Singaporean will also have to pay the victim $1,500 in compensation. He will begin serving his jail term on 20 February.
Scolded victim often, called her ‘stupid’
The victim, Nenti Rusnianti, started working for Yusni on 13 January 2017. Her duties included taking care of Yusni’s three children and doing household chores.
“At the beginning of her employment, the accused felt that the victim was slow in performing her duties, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Derek Ee.
“By the second month, he felt that she was incompetent in her work and was causing him problems. Over the course of her employment, the accused would often scold the victim in Malay and call her ‘stupid’”, added the prosecutor.
In April 2017, Yusni kicked Nenti’s knee as her walked past her. He also kicked her right thigh the same month.
Three months later, he used a fork to hit the victim’s left thigh near her knee.
Knocked victim’s head
In May 2018, Yusni decided to send Nenti back to Indonesia at a later date. He employed Rani Nurhayati, 29, on 1 June 2018, so that the latter would replace the former. But the employer continued to cause hurt to Nenti in Rani’s presence.
On 16 June, Yusni knocked Nenti’s head multiple times with his hand.
That month, Yusni also invited guests over for a meal. During the meal, Nenti wanted to clear a guest’s empty plate, but her employer became angry and stopped her.
After the guests left, Yusni sat on the living room sofa and made Nenti sit on the carpet in front of him. He scolded her, then stood up and walked past the victim towards his room.
“While he walked past the victim, he used his hand to knock the top of the victim’s head once. The victim screamed in pain as it was very painful,” said DPP Ee.
Rani did not see the incident but heard the victim scream, the prosecutor added.
Shortly after, Yunsi came out of his room to apologise to the victim and say that he was very angry with her.
The next month, Yusni again knocked Nenti’s head with his hand. He also used his knee to hit the victim’s thigh.
Both maids fled via window
Sometime in August 2018, Yusni slapped Nenti’s face twice.
Then on 25 August, Nenti and Rani went to sleep in their room at about 11.30pm. At around midnight, Yusni opened their bedroom door and scolded them for not telling him that they were going to sleep.
Yusni told Rani to sleep in the living room. After she had left the room, he continued to scold Nenti and pulled her left ear twice when she didn’t reply to his questions. He then asked Rani to return to the room and continued scolding both maids.
On 27 August, fearing for their safety, the duo decided to flee from the home at about 2am. “They climbed out of a window of the house and took a taxi to the witness’s maid agency to seek help,” said DPP Ee.
The police were called later that day.
In his earlier statements to the police, Yusni denied abusing Nenti. He later admitted to his crimes.
As an employer who caused hurt to his domestic worker, Yusni could have been jailed for up to three years and fined up to $7,500 per charge.
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