A woman heated a metal ladle until it was red hot and placed it on the calf and bare back of a maid because she did not like the curry she cooked, a court heard yesterday.
About a week before that incident in 2013, Suganthi Jayaraman, 33, used a metal pestle to hit Ms Naw Mu De Paw, 24, near her right eyebrow and the back of her head for not frying vadai snacks fast enough.
The Myanmar helper bled heavily, but she was not taken to hospital. Instead, Suganthi told her to continue frying, and to take the snacks to a provision shop that Suganthi and her husband were then running.
Yesterday, a crying Suganthi pleaded guilty to hitting the victim on the head with a metal pestle on Sept 20, 2013; using a heated metal ladle to burn her on Sept 28; and punching her on the left eye two days later. Four other charges will be considered when she is sentenced on June 5.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Chua said that during the three months of abuse, the victim lived in constant fear of being beaten.
She was afraid to tell anyone about the incidents and, at times, did not even dare inspect her wounds, for fear of being scolded. Ms Chua said Suganthi would also threaten the victim by saying she would get into trouble if she ran away or called the police.
The victim finally ran away from her employers' Woodlands Drive flat and called the police on Oct 3, 2013.
The court heard that after burning her with the heated ladle, Suganthi told the victim to wear pants to cover up the injuries when taking the children to school and when working at the provision shop.
Earlier, on Sept 30 that year, Ms Naw, who was supposed to be up at 6.30am to take her employer's daughter to school, woke up at 7.30am instead, as she had been working till 4am that day.
Suganthi scolded her harshly after finding her daughter still at home. She then punched Ms Naw in the face.
Ms Chua said Suganthi's abuse was prolonged, persistent and had escalated in severity. She said: "By repeatedly reoffending and targeting vulnerable parts of the victim's body... the accused's actions were deliberate, malicious and also show a profound lack of basic respect for a domestic maid's welfare and dignity."
Lawyer Louis Joseph said his client's behaviour was unforgivable, but she was remorseful and regretful of what she had done.
Suganthi could be jailed for up to 10 1/2 years and fined for causing hurt with a heated substance. For the other offences, she faces jail of up to three years, and/or a fine of up to $7,500 for each offence.
This article was first published on May 23, 2015.
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