Couple cleared of maid abuse after charges withdrawn

Couple cleared of maid abuse after charges withdrawn

SINGAPORE - A couple escaped prosecution for alleged maid abuse after the charges were withdrawn by the prosecution on Monday.

The court heard that Mr Tan Yu Jin and wife Evelyn Phoon Wei Ling paid 32-year-old Ms Gina Astrologio Vilog $5,000 in composition - the practice of making a payment instead of receiving a punishment.

District Judge Lee Poh Choo said she was "surprised" at the decision of the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) to drop the charges in a maid abuse case.

She awarded the couple a discharge amounting to an acquittal, adding she did so "reluctantly".

Both were alleged to have hurt Ms Vilog because of her poor work performance. Ms Phoon, 38, had three charges withdrawn. She had been accused of hitting the Filipino on the head and hands with a wooden cane on two occasions in January and February last year.

She had also been charged with kicking the maid in the chest and knocking her on the head with a cordless phone on Feb 4 last year.

That same day, Mr Tan, 36, was said to have hit the maid's head with the cane at their flat in Edgedale Plains.

The couple, who have three children, aged three, five and seven, were represented by lawyer Diana Ngiam. Both were expressionless throughout the proceedings.

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