Employer gets 21 months' jail for maid abuse; appeals against conviction and sentence

Chan Huey Fern, who was convicted of five charges of abusing her Indonesian maid in one of the "most distressing'' domestic maid abuse cases in Singapore, was sentenced to 21 months' jail on Wednesday. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Chan Huey Fern, who was convicted of five charges of abusing her Indonesian maid in one of the "most distressing'' domestic maid abuse cases in Singapore, was sentenced to 21 months' jail on Wednesday. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

A woman, who was convicted of five charges of abusing her Indonesian maid in one of the "most distressing'' domestic maid abuse cases in Singapore, was sentenced to 21 months' jail on Wednesday.

Chan Huey Fern, 32, is appealing against conviction and sentence. Bail of $20,000 pending appeal is offered. The mother of two, who has seven other similar charges pending, was found guilty last week by District Judge Low Wee Ping of causing hurt to Ms Juwarti, 25, at her Buangkok Link flat between mid-December and Dec 31, 2010.

She was convicted of punching the maid in the eye, kicking her body and private parts several times.

The court heard that she lashed out at the maid on Dec 31 that year when she found her son's blanket on the floor in the children's room. After kicking her repeatedly on her body, she called the maid to the kitchen where she kicked her again on the body and private parts several times, causing her to bleed.

The maid ran away the same day as she was afraid of being tortured further by Chan. The judge found her injuries including bruises in her eyes and groin area appalling.

Judge Low said in his brief grounds of decision that Chan became the maid's tormentor during her second year of work.

For nine months, she repeatedly abused Ms Juwarti, both mentally and physically.

"Your abuses were systematic. What you have done to a helpless domestic helper, is repugnant to all notions of common humanity,'' he added.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jason Chua had cited several aggravating factors in the case particularly the serious injuries inflicted on the victim's private parts and Chan's abuse of her position. The fact that Chan denied that she had committed any of the offences showed a clear lack of remorse on her part, and she was not repentant for what she had done, he said.