Maid gets jail for attacking employer

Maid gets jail for attacking employer
Madam Seah Cheng Poh, 93, was pushed by her former domestic helper Cing Sian Huai after she tried to stop Cing from attacking her daughter.

A maid who hit a 66-year-old retiree with a bamboo pole and stomped on her foot, causing it to fracture, was sentenced to three months in jail yesterday.

Myanmar national Cing Sian Huai pleaded guilty to hurting Madam Grace Toh Ah Bay on April 27 in a Bedok flat, where she had worked as a maid for the victim and her mother, Madam Seah Cheng Poh, 93.

The court heard that the incident happened at 9.07pm that day, when Cing refused to continue cleaning after Madam Toh scolded her for not washing the dishes properly.

The 24-year-old maid said she did not want to continue working and insisted on returning to the employment agency immediately. Madam Toh, however, refused to unlock the gate.

Cing then tried to force open the lock using a window wiper.

When this failed, she started hitting the lock and gate with a bamboo pole. Both the wiper and pole were broken in the process. Madam Toh tried to calm Cing down but the maid pushed her and hit her hand three times with the broken pole instead, and stomped on her foot after she fell.

Besides a fractured metatarsal bone and bruises on the foot, the attack also left Madam Toh with bruises on her arms. She was given two weeks' hospitalisation leave.

Cing also pushed Madam Seah when she tried to intervene, causing her to fall and hit her thigh on a wooden chair on the way down. One charge of using criminal force arising from this action and another for causing hurt with the bamboo pole were taken into consideration against Cing.

Handing down the sentence, District Judge Lim Tse Haw said Cing's actions had far outweighed any provocation against her, and that the injury caused was not minor.

"Just as the court will protect domestic helpers against violence by their employers, it has an equal duty to protect employers, especially elderly ones, against violence by their domestic helpers," said the judge.

Cing is understood to have begun working for the victims in March and has been in remand since she was first charged at the end of April.

She is expected to be released from prison soon, considering the three months already spent in remand, and repatriated to Myanmar. The maid, who had no previous convictions, could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000 for voluntarily causing hurt.

This article was first published on July 30, 2014.
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