A banquet manager abused his Indonesian maid over five months by slapping and hitting her on various occasions.
The abuse from April to August 2012 prompted the domestic worker to risk her life by climbing out of a window of a third-storey flat in Edgefield Plains, Punggol, to escape her ordeal.
Yesterday, Muhamad Al-Hafiz Nordin, 31, was sentenced to four weeks' jail for causing hurt to the 34-year-old Ms Yulianti.
His wife, Nuraini Hassan, 30, is also facing charges for abusing Ms Yulianti. Her case is pending.
Court papers said that the couple employed Ms Yulianti, who was working in Singapore for the first time, in January 2012 for two years.
She was paid $450 a month plus an additional $20 each month for agreeing not to take any days off.
Her duties included taking care of the couple's two-year-old daughter but she was not required to prepare meals for the family.
She was given a room, which had been converted into a karaoke room, and slept on the carpet.
In April 2012, things began to sour.
Sometime that month, the couple's daughter spilled water on the living room floor.
Ms Yulianti took a rag that was used to clean the family cat's cage, rinsed it and wiped the water on the floor. Seeing this, Nuraini scolded her and told her husband about it when he got home.
Muhamad Al-Hafiz scolded the maid before slapping the left side of her face.
When Ms Yulianti told him not to hit her again, he promised he would not do so in future.
But he did not keep his word.
On July 14, he hit the top of her head.
On Aug 5, he did it again after finding a stain in the baby's milk bottle steamer.
Though Ms Yulianti was never taught how to operate the steamer, she apologised. That only prompted him to hit the top of her head twice with his right palm.
Giddy and in pain, she started crying, only for him to tell her: "So like that good, right?"
Ms Yulianti fled from the flat two days later by climbing out of a window to get to the second storey before jumping to the ground.
She made her way to her maid agency, Nora Employment Agency, whose staff noted that she weighed just 44kg, down from the 64kg when she started working for the couple in January.
Muhamad Al-Hafiz and his wife initially pleaded guilty in March last year, but their pleas were retracted by the court after they disputed some facts in the court papers.
Yesterday, Muhamad Al-Hafiz pleaded guilty to two counts of voluntarily causing hurt to Ms Yulianti, with another similar charge taken into consideration for sentencing.
Defence lawyer Sunil Sudheesan said in mitigation that Ms Yulianti's weight loss was not caused by the couple.
The prosecution confirmed that Ms Yulianti had some dietary issues that contributed largely to her weight loss.
Mr Sunil added that his client had compensated Ms Yulianti $5,000 earlier this year.
During sentencing, District Judge Lee Poh Choo said that maid abuse was deplorable and could not be excused.
This article was first published on June 18, 2015.
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