In a recent media report, a 41-year-old Indian-origin Singaporean woman was sentenced to 30 years in prison for killing her domestic help over a period of 14 months while she was employed there. It is the longest jail term meted out in Singapore in a maid abuse case.
A court in February found Gaiyathiri Murugayan guilty of 28 charges, including culpable homicide, deliberately causing grievous harm to an individual, voluntarily causing grievous harm with a heated substance, and wrongful restraint. Piang Ngaih Don, a Myanmar national, died on July 26, 2016, after being attacked by Gaiyathiri and her mother. The attack caused a fractured bone in her throat and an irreversible brain injury.
Gaiyathiri’s employee Piang, who came to Singapore to work for them in May 2015, was kicked, punched and beaten with objects including brooms and ladles, for a period of approximately 14 months. According to the report, Gaiyathiri also held up Piang by her hair, shaken her violently and pulled out a clump of her hair, burning her arm with an iron on one occasion. During the hearing on Tuesday, Justice See Kee Oon stated the prosecution had painted a shocking picture of how the victim had been tortured, humiliated, and starved to death by the accused.
‘The prosecution’s submissions are framed in emotive language, but words cannot describe the abject cruelty of the accused’s appalling conduct,’ he said. ‘The case was undoubtedly among the worst cases of culpable homicide,’ Justice See said. Gaiyathiri’s husband, former police officer Kevin Chelvam, faces five charges related to the case for assaulting Piang and lying to the police that CCTV cameras were taken from his flat. Gaiyathiri’s mother, Prema Naraynasamy, is also facing charges, according to the Channel report.