Couple who abused second domestic helper for 10 months jailed, fined
SINGAPORE — Over 10 months, a married couple subjected their Burmese domestic helper to a litany of abuse, including hitting her buttocks with a broomstick, pushing a mixture of rice and sugar into her mouth with a funnel and forcing her to eat her own vomit.
SINGAPORE — Over 10 months, a married couple subjected their domestic helper from Myanmar to a litany of abuse, including hitting her buttocks with a broomstick, pushing a mixture of rice and sugar into her mouth with a funnel and forcing her to eat her own vomit.
On Monday (March 18), both Tay Wee Kiat, 41, and Chia Yun Ling, 43, were handed jail sentences by District Judge Olivia Low, two weeks after they were convicted of abusing their helper, Ms Moe Moe Than.
Chia, who was convicted of 15 charges, was sentenced to 47 months’ jail and fined S$4,000.
Tay, a former IT manager, was sentenced to 24 months’ jail. He was found guilty of six charges of causing hurt to Ms Than.
District Judge Low also ordered the couple to compensate S$9,500 to the domestic helper.
The court granted the couple a deferment of sentence until March 27, for them to make domestic arrangements for their three children.
The prosecution has filed an appeal against four acquitted charges.
ABOUT THE CASE
Ms Than, now 31, worked for the couple from Jan 8 to Nov 12 in 2012, when she was sent back to Myanmar without any explanation.
The helper then returned to Singapore one month later to file a report against the couple.
When she was examined at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, doctors found multiple healed scars on her forearm, wrist and hip.
Ms Than’s employment overlapped with that of the couple’s Indonesian helper Fitriyah.
Chia and Tay are also facing jail time for abusing Ms Fitriyah.
Last year, in a landmark decision, a three-judge High Court panel increased Tay’s jail term to 43 months, up from 28 months, for abusing Ms Fitriyah. Chia faces two months behind bars for abusing Ms Fitriyah.
Ms Than focused on household chores, while Ms Fitriyah generally took care of the couple’s three young children, who were aged seven, three and one at the time.
Ms Than’s monthly salary of S$400, plus S$20 for having no day off, was withheld from her throughout her 10 months of employment.
Some of what Tay did to Ms Than include:
Hitting Ms Than’s buttocks with a broomstick and metal clothing hook, when she woke up late.
Pulling her out of a bedroom and throwing her against a wall, because he said she was cleaning too slowly.
Forcing Ms Than, a Christian, and Ms Fitriyah, a Muslim, to “worship” in front of a Buddhist altar 100 times. The two were then made to slap each other 10 times. Tay made them do this because they had moved a small cloth on the altar without his permission, they testified.
Some of the abuse Chia meted out to Ms Than include:
Forcing a mixture of rice and sugar into her open mouth through a funnel, because the domestic helper said that she did not have enough to eat.
Making Ms Than eat her own vomit from a plastic bag, after the helper could not swallow the mixture of rice and sugar and ran to the toilet to vomit.
Threatening to hire someone to kill her family in Myanmar if she told others how she had been abused in the household.
Pulling her hair, pushing her to the floor and stepping on her chest, after she caught Ms Than looking at herself in the mirror of a toy.