Policeman-husband of woman who killed maid suspended since 2016

(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The policeman-husband of a woman who tortured and killed her 24-year-old maid from Myanmar has been suspended from service since 2016.

In a statement issued on Wednesday (24 February) in reply to media queries the police said, "Staff Sergeant Kevin Chelvam has been interdicted with effect from 8 August 2016."

The 42-year-old was first charged at the State Courts on 11 August 2016 and faces multiple counts in relation to the case involving his dead helper Piang Ngaih Don, police said.

“Officers of the Singapore Police Force (SPF) are expected to uphold the law and set a good example by maintaining high standards of discipline and integrity. SPF deals with officers who break the law severely, including charging them in court," they added.

One of Chelvam's charges involve him allegedly lying to investigators that CCTV cameras in his home had been removed six months prior to Piang's death in July 2016. He purportedly also assaulted Piang repeatedly.

On Tuesday, Chelvam's wife Gaiyathiri Murugayan, 40, pleaded guilty at the High Court to 28 charges involving culpable homicide, grievous hurt, hurt, wrongful restraint and criminal intimidation. Another 87 related charges will be considered when she is sentenced at a later date.

All the offences were captured by CCTV cameras in the house, which had a storage capacity of 35 days.

The court heard that Piang left her three-year-old son and travelled to Singapore for the first time to escape poverty and provide for her family in May 2015.

But she was found dead in Chelvam's home on 26 July 2016, having suffered brain damage due to oxygen depravation from repeated choking at the hands of Gaiyathiri and allegedly her mother Prema S Naraynasamy.

The maid weighed just 24kg, having lost 38 per cent of her initial weight of 39kg.

There were 47 external injuries over her body, including the scalp, head, neck, cheek, mouth, chin, forearms, right shoulder, hip, right abdomen, right leg, both thighs and buttocks. The hyoid bone in her neck was broken due to strangulation.

There were also 31 fresh scars all over her body, including her ears, face, jaw, chin, neck, chest, hip, forearms, left hand, left shoulder, right abdomen, and both feet.

The prosecution is seeking a life term for Gaiyathiri for what it described as "indisputable horror and monstrosity of the crimes".

The mother of two was found by a government psychiatrist to have been suffering from depression and obsessive compulsive personality disorder, which partially impaired her mental responsibility for her acts. She was initially charged with murder but later had it reduced to culpable homicide due to her mental illnesses.

Like her son-in-law, Prema, 61, also faces hurt-related charges, which are pending before the State Courts.

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