Singapore

8½ years’ jail for woman who repeatedly abused family friend

She fractured victim's toe with pliers, hit her mouth with hammer

A 34-year-old woman has become the fifth person from her family to be sent to jail over offences involving a mildly intellectually disabled friend who was treated as a slave and physically abused until she almost died.

Haslinda Ismail was sentenced yesterday to 8½ years' jail after she pleaded guilty last month to two counts of voluntarily causing hurt and one count of twisting the victim's toe with a pair of pliers until it fractured.

She is out on $30,000 bail and will surrender herself at the State Courts on March 1 to begin serving her sentence.

Haslinda had splashed hot water on the victim, now 30, scalding her abdomen, thigh and groin.

She also used a hammer to strike the victim's mouth, causing her to lose two teeth.

On another occasion, Haslinda urinated onto a packet of hor fun and forced the victim to eat the soiled food. The famished woman complied.

Four of Haslinda's family members linked to the case were dealt with in court earlier.

Her sister, Hasniza Ismail, 40, was sentenced to three years' jail on Monday.

Their mother, Hasmah Sulong, 70, is also accused of taking part in the acts of torment and her case is pending.

The victim was a secondary school friend of Haslinda's brother, Mr Muhammad Isafi Ismail, and had worked in a fast-food restaurant.

The family took her in after she ran away from home in early 2016, and she stayed rent-free in their flat at Block 714 Woodlands Drive 70.

Things took a turn for the worse some time between May and June 2016, when Haslinda confronted the victim for performing sexual acts on her husband.

She stopped working at the fast-food restaurant and was made to do household chores without pay after Haslinda took away her mobile phone in June 2016.

The victim was then abused repeatedly and to different degrees by several members of the family for over a year.

'NEAR-DEATH STATE'

Because of the repeated acts of abuse, her condition became so dire that Hasniza called for an ambulance on Jan 16, 2018.

The victim was taken in a "near-death state" to hospital, where she needed eight hours of resuscitation.

The severely malnourished woman was later found with injuries including 10 missing teeth as well as multiple wounds and burns.

She was finally discharged from the Singapore General Hospital on April 20, 2018.

COURT & CRIME