Singapore

Woman gets nine months' jail for maid abuse

A former customer relationship officer was yesterday sentenced to nine months' jail for punching and kicking her Indonesian domestic helper and allowing her to bathe only once every three days.

Nuraini Hassan, 32, pleaded guilty to four counts of maid abuse that took place in 2012.

A district court heard that Indonesian national Ms Yulianti, who was then 33, escaped from her employers' Punggol flat after six months of abuse.

She climbed out from the third-storey flat's service balcony window and leapt from the second storey, injuring herself.

By the time she escaped, she had multiple bruises on her face and body as well as ringworm - a fungal infection that arises from bad hygiene.

Ms Yulianti started working for Nuraini in January 2012. Nuraini treated her well during the first month, but would scold the maid after that.

From July that year, Ms Yulianti was allowed to bathe only once every three days as Nuraini felt she wasted too much water when she washed clothes with the washing machine.

On July 23 at about 10pm, the maid ate some noodles prepared by Nuraini as she was hungry, not realising it was meant for her meal before she started fasting the next morning.

At about 5am the next day, Ms Yulianti was hungry again and ate four slices of bread. When she told Nuraini and offered to pay for the bread, Nuraini punched, slapped and kicked her.

On Aug 5, Nuraini shouted at Ms Yulianti for not ironing her dress and scratched her face.

The next day, she punched the maid in the face several times for letting her hair drop on the floor while she was sweeping.

On Aug 7, Nuraini slapped and punched her and kicked her stomach for washing her and the family's clothes despite a previous reminder not to do so.

Ms Yulianti later escaped from the flat and took a taxi to the maid agency. She was later taken to hospital for bruises on her head and body.

She also lost about 20kg after she started working, weighing only 45kg in August 2012.

HUSBAND

Nuraini's husband, Muhamad Al-Hafiz Nordin, also 32, pleaded guilty to two maid abuse charges last year and has completed his four-week jail sentence.

Nuraini's lawyer, Mr Sunil Sudheesan, said the weight loss was not attributable to his client or her husband, but was a result of Ms Yulianti's dietary preference.

The couple have since paid compensation of $5,000 to Ms Yulianti, who has forgiven Nuraini, a mother of three, the lawyer added. Nuraini was allowed to defer sentence until March 7.

crimeabusejailSingapore