Woman admits to forcing maid to hit her own teeth with meat pounder
She also punched Indonesian helper and bullied her into hitting herself
The abuse began just two months after she was employed by housewife Mun Sau Yeng.
The 25-year-old Indonesian domestic helper was hit on the shoulder with a vacuum nozzle and punched multiple times.
In the most egregious incident, Mun, 40, bullied the victim into using a meat pounder to hit herself on the mouth 50 times, causing damage to her teeth.
Yesterday, Mun pleaded guilty to one count of causing hurt to her domestic worker by dangerous means and two counts of causing hurt.
Four other similar charges were taken into consideration.
The victim started working for Mun in April 2018 and was first abused in June that year.
In November 2018, Mun got angry with her for eating a can of sardines for lunch instead of dinner as she had planned.
Punching her several times, Mun then told her to punch herself in the cheeks 50 times.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Muhamad Imaduddien told District Judge Kan Shuk Weng: "The accused was of the view that the victim (would) remember the pain better if she punched herself."
The victim reluctantly complied and was made to count each blow.
Her cheeks became bruised and swollen but Mun did not take her to the doctor.
Instead, she told her to tilt her head down for the day so her husband would not see the injuries.
Then on Feb 4 last year, Mun noticed fingerprints on the kitchen window after asking the victim to clean them the day before.
She shouted: "I want your teeth drop one (sic)".
The victim said she would tell her parents to pay Mun some money instead, but Mun insisted her maid her pull down her lower lip to punch her own teeth for about 15 minutes.
Mun told the victim to take a meat pounder to the living room and forced her to hit her own mouth with it 50 times.
Three of the victim's lower teeth became loose as a result.
Mun then took the meat pounder, pulled down the victim's swollen lip and hit her teeth, causing a tooth to chip.
After being abused thrice more, the victim called the Centre for Domestic Employees for help on Feb 15.
An examination at Sengkang General Hospital found bruises over the victim's right jaw, a 10cm by 16cm bruise on the left side of her face, bite marks on her lips and a broken incisor.
Noting that offences committed against domestic workers carried 1.5 times the maximum sentence, DPP Imaduddien asked for at least 15 months' jail.
Mun's lawyer Kalidass Murugaiyan said his client suffered from depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and was pre-occupied with cleanliness.
Urging the judge to call for a probation report, Mr Kalidass cited a report by an Institute of Mental Health (IMH) psychiatrist that said Mun had reported hearing an "inner voice" telling her to hit the victim.
But DPP Imaduddien said the initial IMH report found no causal link between her mental illness and her offences.
He also took issue with the report as it did not explain how her depression contributed to the offences nor did it have objective evidence regarding Mun's "inner voice".
The case has been adjourned to May 4 for the IMH psychiatrist to give further clarifications.
For causing hurt to a domestic worker by dangerous means, Mun can be jailed for up to 10 years and six months, fined, caned, or given any combination of the three.
For each count of maid abuse, she can be jailed for up to three years, fined up to $7,500, or both.