Myanmar maid jailed 16 years for stabbing to death 95-year-old employer who spat in her face
A domestic worker from Myanmar who stabbed her 95-year-old employer in the face with one knife, and in the neck with another knife, was sentenced to 16 years’ jail after she pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of culpable homicide on Tuesday.
Sandar Htoo admitted that she stabbed Madam Ang Pek Chai because she was angry at the elderly woman for spitting in her face that morning and wanted to “teach her a lesson”.
The stabbing took place between 12.55pm and 1.30pm on July 6, 2020, in Madam Ang’s two-storey semi-detached Recreation Road house that she shared with her 78-year-old son.
The grey-haired Myanmar national is 36 years old based on her identification documents, but her assigned lawyer Daniel Koh said she was actually 51 years old and had told the maid agency she was younger to gain employment.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Grace Chua told the High Court that Sandar Htoo arrived in Singapore in December 2019 and started working for Madam Ang, her second employer, in February 2020.
The maid’s duties were to care for Madam Ang, who had difficulty walking and relied on a walking frame, and handle the household chores.
At about 8am on July 6, 2020, Sandar Htoo was late in helping Madam Ang, who then spat in her face and uttered “naughty Myanmar maid” .
Sandar Htoo kept silent and wiped the spit off her face with her T-shirt.
Hours later, the spitting incident was still on her mind while Madam Ang was taking her afternoon nap and her son had left the house.
The maid took two knives from the kitchen - one with a 30-cm blade and one with a 18-cm blade - and headed to Madam Ang’s bedroom with the intention of stabbing her.
She plunged one knife into Madam Ang’s mouth and the other through the left side of her neck.
After the attack, Sandar Htoo climbed over the fence so she would not alert Madam Ong’s other children, who lived in neighbouring houses.
She asked a passer-by for help to get to the police. The passer-by then called a Grab ride and accompanied her.
At the police station, she told officers that she had killed an elderly woman and made a stabbing motion.
Madam Ang was found motionless and pronounced dead at the scene.
The Myanmar national originally faced a murder charge, but the charge was reduced after she was assessed to be suffering from adjustment disorder with depressed mood, a mental condition which diminished her responsibility for her actions.
The DPP sought a jail term of between 18 years and 20 years, while Mr Koh asked for between 12 and 15 years.
For her crime, Sandar Htoo could face life in prison, or be jailed for up to 20 years and given a fine.