Woman jailed after blinding maid in one eye
A woman who almost blinded her maid by punching her in the face whenever she got angry was jailed for a year and eight months yesterday.
The injuries, including retinal detachment, caused Myanmar national Than Than Soe to be blind in her left eye while her right eye was severely injured.
Singaporean Suzanna Bong Sim Swan, 46, had also forced her to sleep on the floor, refused to pay her salary and denied her any days off during the two years she employed her, a court heard.
District Judge Carol Ling, in sentencing her, ordered that she pay the maid more than $38,000 in compensation, including her medical expenses and prospective loss of earnings.
Bong was found guilty of an assault charge in February, following an eight-day trial.
The prosecution said the maid was 27 when she started working in May 2013 in a Yishun flat that belonged to Bong's parents.
"In addition to the physical abuse she suffered, the victim was also exploited as she was forced to work without pay," deputy public prosecutors Tang Shangjun and Chong Kee En said in their submissions.
The court heard that Bong began to find fault with Ms Than Than Soe's work after the first four months. Initially, she just scolded her, but it slowly escalated into physical abuse.
The maid was often punched in the eyes. The abuse worsened after Ms Than Than Soe moved in early 2015 to work in Bong's Sengkang flat.
The maid was not given dinner about three times a week, and occasionally lunch, too. She also had to sleep on her sarong on the floor.
Ms Than Than Soe began to experience blurred vision around January 2014, but Bong refused to take her to a doctor.
On May 17, 2015, Bong became upset when she came home and smelt the medicated oil Ms Than Than Soe had used to ease her headache, as the family dog apparently did not like the smell.
Bong hit the maid on her left cheek three times.
The following day, Ms Than Than Soe called the police to tell them of her ordeal.
Bong, represented by lawyers Sui Yi Siong and Flora Koh, denied abusing the maid. She said the maid was "very slow in her work" and claimed she had treated her as a daughter.
Mr Sui told the court his client will be appealing against her conviction and sentence. She was offered bail of $10,000.
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