Man who punched, kicked, slapped and stamped on maid sentenced to 14 weeks' jail

Janardana Jayasankarr (left) and his wife Vidya Jayasankarr took turns to hit their domestic helper on Jan 20, 2015.
Janardana Jayasankarr (left) and his wife Vidya Jayasankarr took turns to hit their domestic helper on Jan 20, 2015.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Unhappy that his Filipino domestic helper had opened the fridge and microwave at night, a 52-year-old security guard accused her of stealing food and assaulted her.

Janardana Jayasankarr grabbed 31-year-old Ms Miezel Cagas Limbaga's T-shirt, dragged her into a bedroom and, together with his wife, took turns to hit the maid on Jan 20 last year.

Janardana slapped her face, and punched her stomach and chest.

His wife, Vidya Jayasankarr, 32, slapped the maid and grabbed her neck with both hands.

As the Filipina lay on the ground in pain, unable to get up after the assault, the man stamped on her back.

On Friday (Feb 19), he was sentenced to 14 weeks' jail after he pleaded guilty to three charges of causing hurt. He admitted to another count of the same, which was taken into consideration during sentencing.

Ms Limbaga started working for the couple, who have two children, aged four and five, in October 2014.

She earned $400 a month, and did not have any days off. Her duties included doing housework, cooking and taking care of the children.

On one occasion in late November 2014, Janardana slapped her face.

On Jan 22 last year, two days after he had assaulted her with his wife, he again attacked Ms Limbaga. He slapped her face at about 4am.

Later that morning, when Ms Limbaga took the children to school, another Filipino maid saw bruises on her face, arms and chest area. Ms Limbaga said she had been beaten up by her employers.

Later, at about 9am, she was punched on her chest, and kicked in her stomach and back by Janardana.

When policemen went to the Jayasankarr household at Block 556, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, later that day, after the other Filipino maid made a police report, Ms Limbaga confirmed that she had been assaulted.

A hospital doctor recorded bruises on her scalp, cheeks, upper chest, back and left hip.

The man's lawyer Rajan Nair told the court in mitigation that Ms Limbaga turned out to be a poor helper.

"She neglected her duties, had poor hygiene and could not get used to the family lifestyle," he said.

The lawyer also claimed that Ms Limbaga had punished the children by beating them with a broom on a few occasions, and threatened to punish them further if they told their parents about it.

The maximum penalty for voluntarily causing hurt is two years' jail and a $5,000 fine. The maximum punishment for the offence, if committed against a domestic maid by her employer, or a member of the household, is three years' jail and a $7,500 fine.

Janardana will start serving his sentence on April 1.

His wife was last month sentenced to a week in jail.