Court convicts retiree of hurting and pouring bleach on Filipino domestic worker

Lum Wai Lui, 73, a retired radiograph and medicine technician was convicted of two charges of maid abuse on Wednesday after a six-day trial. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Lum Wai Lui, 73, a retired radiograph and medicine technician was convicted of two charges of maid abuse on Wednesday after a six-day trial. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A retired radiograph and medicine technician was convicted of two charges of maid abuse on Wednesday after a six-day trial.

Lum Wai Lui, 74, was found guilty of slapping the face of Ms Jonna Memeje Muegue and knocking her head on the wall at her Maplewoods condominium on Oct 29, 2012.

She was also convicted of pouring bleach on the Filipina's hands and arms.

The 25-year-old maid had been employed by Lum's daughter, Chua Siew Peng, 43, who has claimed trial to wrongfully confining the helper and slapping her. Her case is ongoing.

Another daughter of Lum's, Kathleen Chua Siew Wei, 41, is also on trial for hurting the domestic helper.

Ms Muegue, who is now working for another employer, lost 10kg during her 10-month stint with the household at Bukit Timah Road.

She escaped from her employer's apartment on Oct 30, 2012 by climbing out of a window, scaling the ledge and jumping onto the rooftop of the fifth-floor condominium.

She had been punished by Lum for eating salmon which was not intended for her.Giving her decision on Wednesday, District Judge Lee Poh Choo said she found Ms Muegue to be a reliable and truthful witness and accepted her evidence.

She said Lum painted herself as an extremely kind and generous person, especially towards the helper.

"She claimed she loved Jonna like her own daughter. Yet, at the same time, she described Jonna as 'evil' and made disparaging remarks about her and unfounded allegations about what Jonna did to entice her son-in-law," said the judge.

The case was adjourned to June 29 for mitigation and for the defence to get a psychiatric report from the Institute of Mental Health.