Convicted maid abuser gets another three months for hitting helper

Chan Huey Fern, 33, admitted causing hurt to her Indonesian maid Juwarti, then 22, at her Buangkok Link flat between June and September 2010. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Chan Huey Fern, 33, admitted causing hurt to her Indonesian maid Juwarti, then 22, at her Buangkok Link flat between June and September 2010. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A woman who is serving a 21-month sentence for maid abuse was given three additional months' jail on Wednesday for hitting the maid's back twice with a foldable chair.

Chan Huey Fern, 33, admitted causing hurt to her Indonesian maid Juwarti, then 22, at her Buangkok Link flat between June and September 2010.

She will start her latest sentence after completing her current jail term.

She had been convicted after a 13-day trial last year of five of 12 charges. Her appeal against conviction and sentence was dismissed by the High Court last month.

She began her sentence on Aug 8 on a series of charges which included punching Ms Juwarti in the eye, kicking her body and her groin several times. She kicked Ms Juwarti in the private parts until the maid bled.

The trial judge, Mr Low Wee Ping, had labelled her a relentless tormentor in his judgement. He said this was probably one of the most distressing domestic maid abuse cases in Singapore.

She appeared in the State Courts on Wednesday to have the outstanding charges dealt with. She had admitted to one charge, with the other six considered during her sentencing.

Chan, the court heard, began abusing Ms Juwarti a year after the maid started work for the family. The abuse went on for nine months. The maid ran away as she could not tolerate the torture any more.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jason Chua said sometime between July and September 2010, Chan felt that the victim had not been looking after her two-year-old son diligently and was angry about it.

She punched Ms Juwarti on the chest, causing the victim to fall. She pulled the maid into the master bedroom, closed the door and pushed the maid on the forehead and the back of the head hit the wall.

After scolding the maid, she kicked the maid on the stomach, causing the victim to crouch down due to the pain. She then stamped on the maid's body.

She asked the maid to turn around and face the wall. She picked up a foldable chair and hit the victim twice on the back.

District Judge Lee Poh Choo said she agreed that this was one of the most distressing maid abuse cases in Singapore. She said the cruelty and violence on the young woman was "horrifying''.

Chan could have been jailed for up to three years and/or fined up to $7,500.