Singapore

Maid sharpened and hid knives before confronting employer: DPP

A domestic worker who wanted to get her passport back from her employer geared up for the confrontation by sharpening one knife and hiding a second, smaller knife under the sink of a toilet, a court heard yesterday.

Daryati ultimately took along a long knife from the storeroom when she confronted Madam Seow Kim Choo, 59, at the latter's Telok Kurau house on June 7, 2016, according to Deputy Public Prosecutor Wong Kok Weng.

When Madam Seow put up a resistance, the Indonesian woman slit and stabbed her neck.

As the victim lay bleeding on the toilet floor, Daryati retrieved the hidden knife and continued stabbing her, DPP Wong said.

Giving details of Daryati's preparation work and her "cruel" attack on Madam Seow, he argued that she had intended to kill her employer.

Daryati inflicted more than 90 stab wounds on Madam Seow, using so much force that at least three of the blows caused fractures to the victim's face, it was revealed at the murder trial.

"Because of your selfish intention to take your passport and take money from (your employer), you stabbed her so viciously on her face and neck, so many times that she bled to death," said the DPP.

Daryati replied: "Initially, I wanted to get my passport back but I could not control my anger. I could not control my hands which stabbed Madam."

The DPP contended that Daryati had control over her actions and was not suffering from any mental condition that substantially impaired her responsibility for her actions.

Daryati disagreed, saying through an interpreter: "I was in a very angry state. I was very emotional and I could not control my hands."

DPP Wong also took Daryati through her police statements to show she was prepared to kill Madam Seow. She had said in one statement: "If she refused to give me my passport, I would have killed her."

Daryati initially faced the mandatory death penalty for murder. In April, after 17 days of the trial, she admitted to a lesser murder charge, which carries life imprisonment or the death sentence.

Prosecutors said they were not pressing for capital punishment.

But last month, Daryati withdrew her guilty plea in the hope of getting a lower sentence by calling defence psychiatrist Tommy Tan to testify that she was suffering from a mental condition that diminished responsibility for her actions.

COURT & CRIME