A single mother of two who hit her maid and stamped on her chest in a drunken rage was jailed for three weeks yesterday.
A court heard that 28-year-old small business owner Ho Mei Li returned to a Marsiling flat at 7am and attacked Indonesian Neni Lestari in a row over washing, leaving her "in fear for her life".
She had admitted hitting Ms Neni Lestari in her head, chest, back, arms and legs and stamping on the 36-year-old's chest several times, leaving her needing medical treatment for multiple bruises.
Ho had a second charge of pointing two knives at the maid taken into account and broke down in tears as she was sentenced.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Zu Zhao told the court that Ho, a tenant at the flat, returned home on July 6 last year to find that her maid had washed her children's clothes in a washing machine - contrary to her instruction to wash them by hand. She attacked the maid, stamping on her chest several times while she was on the floor.
The DPP said the maid was "in fear for her life" before Ho locked herself in her bedroom.
Ms Neni Lestari fled and, with the help of a passer-by, went to her maid agency. A staff member accompanied her to make a police report.
In mitigation, Ho said she had drunk too much and had no intention of hurting the maid.
She said: "We had a struggle. She told me she wanted to go back to the agent, but I said this is not the time."
In passing sentence, District Judge Toh Yung Cheong noted that it was a one-off incident and fortunately the injuries were not serious.
He added: "Nevertheless, maid abuse is a very serious matter because the maid is in your flat, and in many ways depends on you to provide her housing and food while she carries out her work."
Ho, whose children are aged eight and three, runs a small business selling phone accessories. She could have been jailed for up to three years and/or fined $7,500 for maid abuse.
This article was first published on January 31, 2015.
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