Woman jailed a week for slapping maid and grabbing her neck

Vidya Jayasankarr (left) and her husband.
Vidya Jayasankarr (left) and her husband.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Domestic maid Miezel Cagas Limbaga, 31, cooked, cared for her employers' children and had no days off. But, when they were unhappy with her, they would hit her, a court heard.

On Thursday (Jan 21) the wife of her employer, 32-year-old Vidya Jayasankarr, a Singaporean permanent resident, was sentenced to a week in jail for slapping Ms Limbaga and grabbing her neck in late January last year (2015).

The culprit and her husband, Janardana Jayasankarr, 52, had been charged with hurting the Filipino maid, who had been working for them since October 2014. Both pleaded guilty earlier.

She committed one count of voluntarily causing hurt while her husband admitted to two counts.Two other similar charges will be considered when he is sentenced at a later date.

Court documents said that, on Jan 20 last year, the man grabbed Ms Limbaga's T-shirt and dragged her to the master bedroom at night. He was unhappy with her for opening the fridge and microwave earlier that day, and accused her of stealing food.

In the bedroom, the couple took turns to hit and scold their maid for all her previous wrongdoings. The man slapped the maid on her face, punched her on her stomach and chest, and his wife grabbed the helper's neck.

Ms Limbaga fell to the floor from pain and could not stand up when asked to do so. The man then stamped on her back. After scolding her for some time, the couple allowed her to return to her room.

The man admitted to causing hurt to her on three other occasions in late November 2014 and in January 2015.

These beatings came to light when another Filipina saw bruises on Ms Limbaga's face, chest area and arms and made a police report on Jan 22.

Police officers went to the Jayasankarrs' home in Ang Mo Kio and Ms Limbaga was sent to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital on the same day.

She was found to have bruising on her scalp, cheeks, upper chest, back, sacral area and left hip.

The couple had since agreed to give the victim compensation of $1,000, according to their lawyer Rajan Nair.

But the prosecution argued that this was insufficient and asked for compensation of $4,800 for loss of earnings, as Ms Limbaga had stopped working in January 2015 and was residing in the Philippine Embassy here. She did not work during this period, the prosecution said. While working for the couple, Ms Limbaga was paid $400 a month.

Her male employer is expected to be sentenced on Feb 19.

 

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