Security guard jailed for hitting, stamping on maid

Janardana Jayasankarr was sentenced to 14 weeks' jail yesterday and will start serving his sentence on April 1. His wife Vidya, who also slapped the maid and grabbed her neck, was jailed for a week last month.
Janardana Jayasankarr was sentenced to 14 weeks' jail yesterday and will start serving his sentence on April 1. His wife Vidya, who also slapped the maid and grabbed her neck, was jailed for a week last month.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

Man and his wife took turns to hit Filipino helper after accusing her of stealing food

A security guard who punched and stamped on his domestic helper after accusing her of stealing food was jailed for 14 weeks yesterday.

Janardana Jayasankarr, 52, and his wife Vidya Jayasankarr, 32, took turns to hit 31-year-old Filipina Miezel Cagas Limbaga in their Ang Mo Kio home.

A court heard how they had been unhappy that she had opened their fridge and microwave at night on Jan 20 last year.

He slapped her face and punched her in the stomach and chest.

His wife, who was jailed for a week last month, also slapped the maid and grabbed her neck with both hands.

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

He pleaded guilty to three charges of causing hurt and a fourth similar count 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 that year, Janardana Jayasankarr slapped her face.

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

The reasons for these two assaults were not told to the court.

Later that morning, when Ms Limbaga took the children to school, another Filipino maid saw bruises on her face, arms and chest.

Ms Limbaga admitted she had been beaten up by her employers.

Afraid that she would be seen talking to other people, she hurried off, only to be punched in her chest and kicked in her stomach and back by Janardana Jayasankarr at about 9am.

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

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

The man's lawyer, Mr Rajan Nair, told the court in mitigation that Ms Limbaga had 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, if committed against a maid by her employer or a member of the household, is three years' jail and a $7,500 fine.

Janardana Jayasankarr will start serving his sentence on April 1.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2016, with the headline 'Security guard jailed for hitting, stamping on maid'. Print Edition | Subscribe