Construction worker jailed four years for vicious attack on maid
Construction worker jailed four years and given nine strokes of the cane for vicious attack on maid
Furious she had broken up with him, he called her 20 to 30 times a day.
Then, arming himself with a penknife, he lay in wait for her.
By the time he was done slashing her neck, face and hand, she could see the bone in her left hand.
Yesterday, Indian national Palaiyan Murugadass, 41, a construction worker, was jailed four years and given nine strokes of the cane for his vicious attack on the maid. (See report on right.)
About half a year may have passed since the incident in August last year, but Ms Adolfo Allen Remedio, 38, a Filipino national, is still traumatised by what happened.
She is still working for the same employer at Tampines Street 33.
Speaking through a gap between the front door of her employer's unit, Ms Remedio told The New Paper (TNP) yesterday that she still gets nightmares of Palaiyan slashing her and is afraid of stepping outside now.
She said she arrived in Singapore in 2013, the same year she met Palaiyan.
Ms Remedio said: "I was out one day when he walked up to me and talked to me. We exchanged numbers and went out after that."
She said she knew he was separated from his wife and had two children but was happy to go out with him.
Their relationship, however, soured after two years, she said.
"He was paranoid whenever I wouldn't go out with him. But it was because I had to work or had already agreed to go out with my friends.
"He would sometimes get aggressive and throw his phone and also verbally abuse me," she said.
Court papers said Ms Remedio initiated a breakup in July 2015, but she told TNP it was a few months before.
Palaiyan did not take the news well and harassed her by calling her 20 to 30 times daily, court papers said.
She blocked his number in July and thought that was the end of it.
But he showed up at the void deck of a block near her employer's flat on Aug 23, 2015, when she was returning home.
"At first, I thought he was there just to look for me and talk to me. So I just ignored him," Ms Remedio said.
Even when he got aggressive and began threatening to kill her, she said she kept her cool and continued walking.
Suddenly, he whipped out a penknife and slashed her neck, cheek and left hand.
"I was shocked. I did not expect him to harm me. Everything happened so fast, I can't even remember which part of me got slashed first."
All Ms Remedio remembers is clutching her bleeding neck and rushing to her employer's unit on the second storey.
Her employer of two years, Mr Jose Mari Camacho, 40, told TNP last August he saw Ms Remedio lying in his unit and bleeding heavily.
He immediately grabbed a towel and told his other maid to apply pressure on the wounds.
"I then ran out of the flat to find out who had done this to her."
When he could not find the attacker, he went back to attend to Ms Remedio.
"She was still conscious and bleeding heavily. It was a very deep cut and I could see her trachea (windpipe) coming out from her throat, where blood was spurting out," Mr Camacho had said.
"There were also deep cuts on her wrist and palm. I could see her bones and ligaments. Her thumb and finger were hanging just by the skin."
Ms Remedio went for surgery on her windpipe, hand and wrist.
She said: "I had so many stitches that I don't even remember how many there were. I was in hospital and in pain for many days."
Today, her wounds have healed but the scars on her neck, face and left hand, as well as the emotional trauma, remain.
"When I go out, I have to put a lot of concealer and make-up. If not, people will ask me what happened and remind me of the incident," she said, choking up.
Ms Remedio added she has yet to regain full control of her left hand - she is unable to bend her left thumb and ring finger - and attends physiotherapy twice a month.
But she is grateful to Mr Camacho for caring for her over the past few months and nursing her back to health.
She said he even paid for her daughters, aged 20 and 22, to fly here from the Philippines to visit her.
When told of her ex-boyfriend's sentence, Ms Remedio said: "Only four years? I thought it would be more.
"But I guess he's got his punishment now."
I had so many stitches that I don't even remember how many there were. I was in hospital and in pain for many days.
- Ms Adolfo Allen Remedio
He waited more than two hours to attack her
It was one of the most aggravating cases of its kind for its viciousness, said Assistant Public Prosecutor (APP) Daniel Marini yesterday.
Yesterday, Palaiyan Murugadass, 41, a construction worker, was jailed four years and given nine strokes of the cane.
The court heard that Palaiyan got together with Ms Adolfo Allen Remedio, 38, a Filipino national working as a maid, in 2013.
But their relationship hit the rocks two years later and she broke up with him in July 2015, court papers said.
At about 4pm on Aug 23, he waited for her at the void deck of HDB Block 310, Tampines Street 33 - near her employer's home - with a penknife.
His aim? To injure Ms Remedio so as to teach her a lesson.
Ms Remedio showed up at 6.30pm and Palaiyan immediately approached her after she alighted from a bus.
Palaiyan threatened Ms Remedio, saying: "You playing me, you playing me, you will see, I will kill you." (sic)
Ms Remedio ignored him and continued walking to her block.
That was when Palaiyan slashed her.
A passer-by saw what happened and called the police.
Palaiyan then fled the scene and threw the penknife into the nearby bushes before taking a taxi back to his dormitory.
Meanwhile, Ms Remedio was taken to Singapore General Hospital, where she underwent surgery on her windpipe, hand and wrist. She was also given hospitalisation leave totalling a month and nine days.
Yesterday, Palaiyan, who was not represented, admitted to one charge of voluntarily causing grievous hurt with a weapon.
APP Marini pointed out that Palaiyan waited for Ms Remedio for more than two hours with the sole purpose of injuring her.
Palaiyan said in mitigation, while choking up, that his parents were ill and that his mother had recently suffered a stroke.
But District Judge Lee Poh Choo pointed out that he had told the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) that his parents had died years ago. Palaiyan insisted his parents were still alive.
The judge then referred to his IMH report again and asked if he was indeed divorced from his wife and was no longer in contact with her and his two children. Palaiyan claimed he and his wife were separated but he was still supporting his family financially.
Judge Lee said in sentencing that it was very clear that Palaiyan's actions were vicious. "This cannot be tolerated in Singapore. Whatever anger you have against the victim, you cannot take the law into your hands and cause such serious injuries to her."