Maid jailed for hurting employer's elderly mum

Maid jailed for hurting employer's elderly mum

SINGAPORE - An indonesian maid who vented her frustration on her employer's elderly mother by hurting the 87-year-old more than 20 times was jailed for 12 months yesterday.

Sulastri Sakiran Sumadi, 37, had a dispute with her employer, Ms Marlene Poh Geok Hee, 51, and bore a grudge against her.

Instead of sorting the matter out with Ms Poh, she took it out on Ms Poh's mother, Madam Tan Lye Hoe, over a two-month period last year.

The maid faced 24 charges and admitted to eight counts.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Lai said Sulastri was hired in April 2013 to do household chores and take care of Madam Tan, a wheelchair user who suffers from medical conditions, including Alzheimer's disease.

From May 17 to June 21 last year, Sulastri repeatedly caused hurt to various parts of the victim's body at her employer's flat in Dunman Road.

Every time she hit or inflicted hurt upon the victim, the elderly woman would neither retaliate nor shout. Instead, she would say "sakit" (Malay for pain) softly and apologise to the maid, despite not knowing what she had done which led to the assault.

Unknown to the maid, her actions of voluntarily causing hurt were being recorded by a closed-circuit TV camera installed in the victim's room.

It was only when the victim complained to her daughter of pain in her head did the latter review the CCTV footage and saw what Sulastri had done. On June 23, the police were informed.

The court heard that Sulastri had directed her assaults on the victim's face and head 19 times. She used objects such as a comb, towel and dustbin to hit her.

District Judge Lee Poh Choo told Sulastri she had been cruel and wicked towards the victim, who was totally dependent on her care. "You used such force that you left bruises and marks on this old lady.

I agree with prosecution a deterrent sentence is definitely called for," she said. Sulastri, who pleaded for a light sentence, could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000 on each charge.

This article was first published on Jan 22, 2015.
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