Woman jailed for assaulting maid

A businesswoman felt her Indonesian maid was being rude to her and began berating her in Mandarin - a language she could not understand.

During her tirade, Singaporean Liang Dongmei, a mother of three, marched up to Ms Shinta Ariahny Saputri, 24, and pulled her hair.

Liang, 36, was jailed for six weeks yesterday after pleading guilty to one count of assaulting the maid.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Grace Chua said Liang, a former Chinese national, was living with her former husband at his flat in Bedok North and the maid had been working there since July 2016. The row erupted in January last year after Liang asked what Ms Shinta had prepared for her youngest daughter's breakfast.

DPP Chua told the court: "The accused felt that the victim's tone of voice and attitude towards her were rude and started scolding the victim in Mandarin. The victim could not understand what the accused was saying and did not look at the accused."

After Liang pulled Ms Shinta's hair, the maid collected her belongings and tried to leave the flat but Liang held on to the front door to prevent her, accidentally scratching Ms Shinta's face while doing so. The maid later fled the flat and alerted the police.

In mitigation, Liang's lawyer, Mr S.S. Dhillon, said the businesswoman had committed the offence on the spur of the moment.

A second assault charge involving Ms Shinta and one count of wrongfully restraining her were considered during sentencing.

For assaulting Ms Shinta, Liang could have been jailed for up to 18 months and fined up to $1,500.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2018, with the headline 'Woman jailed for assaulting maid'. Print Edition | Subscribe