A property agent hit her maid’s head with her closed fist for using too much soap earlier this year, telling the victim that the soap was expensive, a court heard on Wednesday (5 December).
On another occasion, Annie Loh Beem Hiang, 55, hit Chispa Sheira Mae’s arm for taking a slice of cheese from the fridge to eat with bread as she was hungry. Loh had a habit of counting the slices of cheese she had in the fridge.
At the State Courts on Wednesday, Loh was sentenced to two months’ jail and ordered to pay $2,000 to Chispa, 25, in compensation. If she fails to pay the compensation by 10 December, she will have to serve another two weeks in jail.
Loh pleaded guilty to two out of four charges of causing hurt. She admitted to the remaining two counts, which were taken into consideration in sentencing as part of her plea bargain.
Chispa, who is from the Philippines, started working for Loh in December last year. The employer’s abuse started in March.
On one occasion, Loh hit the back of Chispa’s head with her fist for using too much soap to clean a mask. Loh told her to use only a little soap as the soap was expensive.
Loh also once assaulted Chispa for not mopping the floor properly.
In May, Loh hit Chispa on her arm with an open palm while the maid was washing dishes in the kitchen. Loh had asked Chispa if she had eaten a slice of cheese from the fridge. Chispa admitted to doing so.
Later in the same month, Loh slapped Chispa’s cheek more than five times as she was angry that the maid had borrowed $1,000 from a licensed moneylender. Chispa then texted her sister, who was also working as a maid in Singapore, about the assault. Her sister called the police.
After the police recorded a statement from Loh, the property agent contacted Chispa’s sister to ask Chipsa to “drop the case”.
On 30 May, Loh met with Chispa and her sister at the maid agency, and agreed to pay off the victim’s loan, medical bills and her plane ticket home. Chispa then signed an “agreement” with Loh. Loh has since paid off the loan and medical bills of about $110.
Loh will start serving her sentence on 13 December.
The maximum penalty for causing hurt is up to two years’ jail and a fine of up to $5,000, per charge. 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.
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