Maid from Myanmar jailed 13 years for killing employer's 87-year-old mother-in-law

Than Than Win pleaded guilty in the High Court to a charge of culpable homicide for stabbing Madam Yong Wan Lan with a pair of scissors at the Springdale Condominium on Hindhede Walk in Bukit Timah on March 4 last year .
Than Than Win pleaded guilty in the High Court to a charge of culpable homicide for stabbing Madam Yong Wan Lan with a pair of scissors at the Springdale Condominium on Hindhede Walk in Bukit Timah on March 4 last year .PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - A 25-year-old domestic maid from Myanmar was jailed 13 years on Monday (July 27) for killing her employer's 87-year-old mother-in-law.

Than Than Win pleaded guilty in the High Court to a charge of culpable homicide for stabbing Madam Yong Wan Lan with a pair of scissors at the Springdale Condominium on Hindhede Walk in Bukit Timah on March 4 last year .

Her charge was reduced from murder as she was diagnosed by a psychiatrist from the Institute of Mental Health to be suffering from severe depression with psychotic symptoms at the time.

The maid had been working for the family for more than a year and was alone at home with the elderly woman when she became increasingly angry over a scolding she received from Madam Yong that morning.

The maid got the largest pair of scissors she could find from a kitchen drawer, then repeatedly stabbed Madam Yong, who was too frail to retaliate.

After killing her, the maid washed herself in the bathroom with her clothes on. She then left the apartment, drenched and barefoot, and wandered around the estate. She got a saw from a parked truck and tried to cut her neck but was stopped by a worker.

In sentencing, Justice Chan Seng Onn noted that the maid had viciously attacked a very elderly grandmother she was supposed to help look after.

The judge noted that she inflicted at least 21 stab wounds on Madam Yong, two of which were fatal injuries to her heart and lungs.

Culpable homicide carries up to 20 years' jail or life imprisonment.

selinal@sph.com.sg