Addict who attacked foreign maid with chopper gets jail

A drug addict who hit his mother's domestic worker on the head with a kitchen chopper was jailed for 18 months yesterday.

As well as being imprisoned for hurting her with a dangerous weapon and insulting her modesty, Tay Hock Chye was also sentenced to a a fine of $15,000, or 10 days' jail in default, for having 15 obscene films at his home in the Havelock area in August 2014.

The 58-year-old, who is now in a drug rehabilitation centre, pleaded guilty to four of six charges.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Delicia Tan said that on Aug 9, 2014, the 34-year-old Indonesian domestic worker was showering when Tay forced open the toilet door to look at her before she managed to close it.

The police were called and seized 20 video CDs, 15 of which were found to contain obscene films.

On Oct 14 last year, he was placed on a halfway house programme and given leave by the superintendent of Lloyd Leas Community Supervision Centre to stay at the Helping Hand Halfway House in Upper Serangoon Road until April this year for treatment.

Instead, he absconded the next day and his leave was cancelled.

Arriving home on Oct 16, he took a 20cm-long chopper from the kitchen and confronted the maid in a bedroom, closing and locking the door behind him.

"Wielding the kitchen chopper in his right hand, he told the victim that he wanted to kill her. He then raised the chopper and swung it at the victim,'' said DPP Tan. The attack caused a 4cm-long cut on her scalp.

After a struggle, the maid managed to wrest the chopper from him. He then left the room and the maid locked herself in.

Returning, he banged on the door repeatedly, attempting to break it. He also used a wooden board to smash the door handle.

He stopped after his stepbrother arrived home. Police later arrested him. The maid was given seven days of outpatient leave.

DPP Tan said Tay was a recalcitrant offender who re-offended even while on bail.

District Judge Jasvender Kaur said she did not know why Tay behaved in such a violent manner.

"The victim would have been terrified when you held a chopper and told her you would kill her, and then proceeded to swing the chopper at her,'' she said.

She said it was fortunate that the victim managed to grab the chopper from him.

Tay could have been jailed for up to 10½ years and fined for the assault. For insult of modesty, the maximum punishment is one year's jail and a fine.

For failing to return to the institution after his leave had been cancelled, he could have been jailed for up to three years and fined up to $5,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 06, 2016, with the headline 'Addict who attacked foreign maid with chopper gets jail'. Print Edition | Subscribe