Couple jailed for physically abusing their maid
A woman who hit her maid on the face with a toy guitar until it broke was sentenced to 28 weeks’ jail on Monday for several offences committed against the domestic helper.
Chinese national Jin Yan, 36, had earlier been convicted of using criminal force during the assault that took place on Jan 3, 2018, and on four other charges of voluntarily causing hurt to Ms Lutin, 31, who goes by only one name.
She was also ordered to pay a compensation of $2,500 to the maid.
Her husband, Wang Cheng Xiang, 47, was also sentenced on Monday for offences against Ms Lutin.
He was given 13 weeks’ jail and ordered to pay $1,000 in compensation after he was convicted on two charges of voluntarily causing hurt to the maid.
The couple, who have an eight-year-old son and a seven-year-old daughter, have appealed against their sentences and convictions.
Their offences came to light in January 2018 after Ms Lutin, who had had several facial injuries, went to a playground and bumped into another maid.
The second maid snapped pictures of Ms Lutin’s injuries and posted them on Facebook. A third maid alerted the authorities after she saw the post.
Ms Lutin, who was employed by Wang, started working at the couple’s home at the Adria condominium in Novena on June 24, 2017.
The acts of abuse started soon after.
In her earlier submissions, Deputy Public Prosecutor Gail Wong said that in July that year, Jin slapped Ms Lutin as the maid had forgotten to wipe some utensils dry.
Jin then called the maid’s agent, Ms Hong Wan Yi.
The DPP told District Judge Prem Raj: “Lutin spoke to Wan Yi and told her she wished to... change her employer because Jin had started to use her hand on her.
“However, Wan Yi informed Lutin... that she would tell Jin that she may scold Lutin, but not physically assault her.”
After that, Ms Lutin passed the phone back to Jin, who spoke to Ms Hong.
Ms Lutin then followed Ms Hong’s suggestion to continue working for the household.
Despite this, Jin physically abused the domestic worker again later that year.
Jin was out with her children in October 2017 when Ms Lutin decided to cook some rice at home. When they returned, Jin’s son touched the hot rice cooker and got a blister on his finger as a result.
According to court documents, Jin slapped Ms Lutin on the cheek more than twice, pulled her ponytail and swung it until the maid fell. She then kicked Ms Lutin on the chest.
Jin also told Wang about the boy’s injury when he returned home that evening; Wang then slapped the maid.
Some time in November or December 2017, Ms Lutin was arranging clothes in a cupboard in the master bedroom when her employer’s two children climbed on furniture in the living room.
The DPP said that Jin then went to the maid and slapped her cheek more than twice. Ms Lutin developed ulcers in her mouth after this.
In January 2018, Ms Lutin accompanied the couple’s son to a bathroom, leaving his sister alone in the living room. The young girl then made her way to another bathroom.
The court heard that Jin became unhappy when she saw that Ms Lutin had left her daughter unattended and scolded the maid.
Jin then slapped Ms Lutin and dragged her by her ponytail from the common toilet to the television area in the living room and then kicked her on the back, DPP Wong said.
According to the DPP, the assault with the toy guitar happened after Ms Lutin forgot to hang the boy’s school uniform to dry and placed it inside a basin, so it stayed wet.
Wang also slapped the maid when he returned home that evening.
Ms Lutin met another maid at a playground the next day, and the police were alerted soon after.