Upset about a scolding in the morning, she got increasingly angry until she fatally stabbed her employer's mother-in-law.
Myanmar national Than Than Win, who was later diagnosed with severe depressive disorder, was yesterday sentenced to 13 years' jail for killing 87-year-old Yong Wan Lan.
The 25-year-old pleaded guilty to one count of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
In February 2013, Than Than Win started working for her employer in Springdale Condominium at Hindhede Walk, off Upper Bukit Timah Road.
The maid shared a room with Madam Yong, who lived in the apartment with her son, daughter and 17-year-old granddaughter. On March 4 last year, Madam Yong scolded Than Than Win in the morning.
The maid went about her work until about 4pm when she took a break.
During her break, Than Than Win got increasingly angry.
She then took a pair of scissors measuring 21cm - the largest she could find - and went to the room where Madam Yong was watching a television programme.
Holding the scissors in one hand, Than Than Win attacked the older woman from the front, stabbing her repeatedly in the chest and stomach areas.
Madam Yong tried to fight back but was too frail.
She later fell off the bed and died.
An autopsy showed that she suffered two fatal stab wounds to her chest, puncturing muscles of the chest wall and her lung.
One wound was 11cm deep - the length of the scissors blade.
Among her injuries were 11 other superficial stab wounds on her chest, eight stab wounds on her arms, a "through and through" stab wound of her left lung and a small stab wound to the sac enclosing the heart.
In all, Than Than Win stabbed Madam Yong more than 20 times.
The court was told that blood splattered all over the floor and walls of the room.
After the attack, Than Than Win left the scissors in the living room and went to a bathroom, where she doused herself with a water hose while fully clothed.
Drenched and barefoot, she wandered out of the apartment to the condominium grounds.
At the ground floor, she took a saw from a parked truck and tried to kill herself but was stopped by a worker in charge of the truck.
The security guards were alerted and they called the police.
After her arrest, Than Than Win was diagnosed with severe depressive disorder with psychotic symptoms.
In mitigation, defence lawyer Sunil Sudheesan said Than Than Win was the second of six children who came to work in Singapore so her siblings could get an education and not be like her.
Her sentence was backdated to March 4 last year, the day she was arrested.
This article was first published on June 28, 2015.
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