Singapore

Woman who abused, spat at maid jailed 16 weeks

An administrative clerk who spat at her domestic worker, stepped on her foot and twisted it, and pulled off her tudung (headscarf) was jailed for 16 weeks yesterday. Suriyati Matrawee, 42, who is married with three children, had admitted to three of six charges of using criminal force and causing hurt to Indonesian Intan Atikah, 28.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Joshua Rene Jeyaraj described the abuse Ms Intan had to endure. She was about two months into her employment in June 2015 when she was punched by the couple's eight-year-old daughter but Suriyati did nothing about it.

Suriyati also spat at Ms Intan five times on Dec 12, 2015, for not being able to finish ironing on time.

Due to the commotion, a neighbour called the police.

When police came, Suriyati hugged the victim and begged her to tell them that nothing had happened.

She agreed as she wanted to continue working and believed that her employer would change, but things deteriorated for the maid.

That evening, for unknown reasons, Suriyati pulled the victim towards her by her shirt in the kitchen, scolded her and stepped on her left foot and twisted it, causing her bruising and swelling.

On Feb 27 last year, the victim was in a car when Suriyati was angry with her for not looking after the children. They had earlier run around while in the Choa Chu Kang Cemetery. Suriyati pulled at Ms Intan's tudung until it came off, then stepped on it.

An investigation also showed that Suriyati's daughter had helped to pull off the tudung, and had hit the maid's back during the incident.

The last incident happened on March 6 last year.

Suriyati called the maid a sex worker as she was upset with her for waking up 10 minutes late. Ms Intan decided to leave and ran out to the staircase. A neighbour saw the maid holding onto the staircase railing, while Suriyati and a man tried to pull her away.

They eventually managed to prise her hands from the railing and take her back to the flat in Clementi.

Police were alerted and they took Ms Intan away.

In passing sentence, District Judge Mathew Joseph chided Suriyati for her "foolish and deplorable" actions.

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