SINGAPORE – A district judge has turned down a defence lawyer’s suggestion for probation to be given to his client who had been convicted of maid abuse.
The offender, Jenny Chan Yun Hui, 42, had repeatedly abused her Indonesian domestic helper, causing injuries including a broken nose.
On Tuesday (Oct 1), lawyer Gary Leonard Low told District Judge Eddy Tham that his client has major depressive disorder.
The judge, however, replied that probation is given to adult offenders only in “exceptional” cases.
He added that there were no such circumstances in Chan’s case.
The Singaporean woman is now out on bail of $6,000 and is expected to be sentenced on Oct 30.
In February, she pleaded guilty to three assault charges, including one count of causing grievous hurt.
The maid, Ms Rasi, 27, who goes by one name, started working in Chan’s apartment at the Water Place condominium in Tanjong Rhu Road in February 2016.
The court had heard that Chan gave the maid a strict schedule of tasks to follow and would monitor her through multiple closed-circuit television cameras installed throughout the apartment.
Ms Rasi did not have a mobile phone and was not allowed to speak to the neighbours.
She had to wake up at around 6am every day and, as she did not have enough rest, often nodded off while doing her chores.
This angered Chan, who started physically abusing her in April that year.
In one instance, she became upset when Ms Rasi did not complete her morning chores, and she punched her in the eye.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Kelly Ho said Chan also caused the back of the maid’s head to bleed after she hit it with a plastic bowl.
On another occasion, Chan punched Ms Rasi’s nose several times.
She continued hitting the maid even though the younger woman complained that she could not breathe through her nose.
The maid was later found to have suffered a nasal bone fracture.
When Ms Rasi said she wanted to stop working for the household, Chan told her that if the Indonesian ran away, she would alert the police and the younger woman would then be jailed for 20 years.
Later that day, Chan pinched Ms Rasi’s ears with her finger nails, drawing blood.
DPP Ho said that Chan also punched the maid’s eyes multiple times until Ms Rasi could not see with her left eye for around 30 minutes as it was swollen.
On June 19, 2016, Ms Rasi confided in another maid, who advised her to take a taxi to the Indonesian Embassy to seek help.
She did so the next day and was later taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital where she was warded until June 22 that year.
For causing grievous hurt to the maid, Chan can be jailed for up to 15 years and fined.