It began as a tiff over dirty dishes.
But it escalated into an attack that landed a maid's elderly employers, Madam Seah Cheng Poh, 93, and her daughter, Madam Grace Toh Ah Bay, 66, in hospital.
Domestic helper Cing Sian Huai, a Myanmar national, 24, was yesterday jailed for three months after pleading guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt.
Two other charges - a second count of voluntarily causing hurt and one count of using criminal force on Madam Seah - were taken into consideration during sentencing.
Madam Seah told Chinese evening newspaper Shin Min Daily News at her Bedok Reservoir flat yesterday that the incident happened on Cing's day off on April 27.
After the three women went to church in the morning, Cing went out on her own and returned to the flat at 8pm.
Madam Toh asked her to wash the dishes, then scolded her for not doing it properly.
Cing refused to continue washing and said she no longer wished to work for them.
An argument broke out between her and Madam Toh.
Cing said she wanted to go back to her employment agency. The court was told that she tried to leave the flat but the gate was locked.
When Madam Toh refused to let her out, Cing got hold of a bamboo pole and smashed it against the gate until it broke.
When Madam Toh tried to calm her down and told her to sit down, Cing used the broken pole to hit Madam Toh thrice on the left hand. She then stamped on Madam Toh's feet, fracturing the right foot.
When Madam Seah tried to intervene, Cing pushed her backwards, causing the elderly woman to fall and hit her left thigh on a wooden chair. Madam Toh then phoned her brother, Mr Asher Toh Ah Hua, to come over, the court was told.
When he arrived, he asked Cing what had happened and she told him that she wanted to go back to her maid agency. He called the Singapore Civil Defence Force for an ambulance, who in turn alerted the police.
Recalling the incident, Madam Seah told Shin Min: "She took a pole of about 40cm and hit the metal gate of our flat. She kept shouting that she wanted to go home.
"I can't remember if my son reached us first or the police.
"When the police arrived, she was just sitting quietly in a corner without saying a word."
The victims were taken to Changi General Hospital where Madam Seah was warded for two weeks. Madam Toh was given two weeks' hospitalisation leave.
Three months after the attack, mother and daughter - who live on their own - still have trouble moving around.
They have a new maid, but Madam Seah still needs a wheelchair while Madam Toh relies on crutches when she goes out, reported Shin Min.
It was Cing's first time working in Singapore and she had been with the household for only 25 days when the incident happened, Madam Seah said.
Cing, who was not represented, pleaded for leniency and told the court that she was very sorry for what she had done.
For voluntarily causing hurt, she could have been jailed up to two years and fined up to $5,000.
This article was first published on July 30, 2014.
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