SINGAPORE — Upset with her maid for dropping a bottle of pills on the floor, a paralegal assaulted her with a wooden backscratcher with so much force that two of the victim’s fingers broke, a court heard.
A Good Samaritan who lived next door and suspected a case of maid abuse called the police. Officers found the Indonesian maid with bloodshot eyes and swollen hands three days later.
While at a hospital, a doctor found bleeding in both of 33-year-old Weti Alimi Carmadi’s eyes, among other injuries.
At the State Courts on Monday (29 April), Weti’s employer Ng Bee Choo, 48, was jailed for 10 months after she pleaded guilty to one charge of causing grievous hurt. She also admitted to one count each of causing hurt and using criminal force, which were taken into consideration for her sentencing.
Started abusing maid in second year
Ng employed Weti in October 2016. It was Weti’s second time working in Singapore as a maid.
Her chores included taking care of Ng’s aged mother, who is wheelchair-bound and suffers from heart ailments.
Weti did not have any issues working in the home in her first year there. However, in late 2017, Ng began verbally and physically abusing Weti.
She would plead not to be assaulted and Ng would desist, the court heard. But Weti was afraid to seek help or tell anyone about the abuse.
In late January last year, Ng was preparing to go to work after having breakfast with her mother. While waiting for Weti for give her mother her daily medication, Ng witnessed Weti dropping a bottle of medicine onto the floor.
Weti then picked up the pills and fed them to Ng’s mother. Ng perceived that Weti had fed her mother dirty pills, and became furious.
Ng then picked up a wooden backscratcher and repeatedly struck Weti’s head with it. Weti tried to protect her head with both her hands during the assault.
After a while, Ng stopped the attack and left for work. Weti carried on with her chores even though her hands were swollen.
Neighbour called police
A neighbour, who had heard a woman moaning, suspected a case of maid abuse and called the police on 28 January last year.
No one answered the door to Ng’s flat when officers arrived. Policemen only managed to interview Ng and Weti three days later, when they found Weti with bloodshot eyes and swollen hands.
A doctor who examined Weti found fractures on her two left-hand fingers, swelling in both hands, and bleeding in both eyes. She was discharged with painkillers.
The maximum punishment for causing grievous hurt is up to 10 years’ jail, along with a fine and caning. If the crime is committed by the employer of a domestic maid, or a member of the employer’s household, the perpetrator is liable to one and a half times the punishment. Only male offenders below 50 are liable for caning.
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