Woman jailed 15 months for abusing domestic helper
A woman who abused her Indonesian domestic helper, including punching her in the nose several times and using a plastic bowl to hit her in the head, was sentenced to 15 months' jail yesterday.
Jenny Chan Yun Hui, 42, sobbed at the dock as District Judge Eddy Tham meted out the sentence, which he said had been downgraded on compassionate grounds as she has major depressive disorder.
The judge acknowledged that Chan was going through a "stressful time" during the period of the offences, which started about two months after Ms Rasi started working for her in February 2016.
Chan's depression meant that she had less control of her emotions, contributing to the offences committed, said the judge. However, this could not excuse Chan's physical abuse of Ms Rasi, who would have suffered psychological harm as a result of the physical abuse and isolation under the hands of her employer, he added.
Chan, who is married with children, pleaded guilty to three assault charges earlier this year in February.
Chan began physically abusing Ms Rasi in April 2016. On one occasion, Chan was upset that Ms Rasi had not finished her morning chores and punched her in the eye. While the domestic worker was cleaning, Chan hit her back, and used a plastic bowl to hit her in the head, causing it to bleed.
Chan also punched Ms Rasi in the nose several times as she was angry the domestic worker had woken up late, and did not stop even when Ms Rasi said she was unable to breathe. Ms Rasi had a broken nose, but was not taken to see a doctor.
When Ms Rasi wanted to stop working, Chan said if she ran away, she would alert the police and Ms Rasi would be jailed for 20 years.
Later that day, Chan pinched Ms Rasi's ears with her fingernails, drawing blood, and punched her in the eyes multiple times until she could not see with her left eye.
On June 19, 2016, Ms Rasi confided in another maid, who advised her to seek help at the Indonesian Embassy. She did so the next day and was later taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where she was hospitalised until June 22 that year.