Employer gets 3 months' jail for kicking, slapping maid

Noryanti was jailed for three months on two counts of maid abuse. The court commended the neighbour for helping the victim to lodge a police report.
Noryanti was jailed for three months on two counts of maid abuse. The court commended the neighbour for helping the victim to lodge a police report.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

Victim fled to neighbouring unit after climbing out of a second-floor window

A maid was so afraid her employer would keep attacking her that she climbed out of the window of a second-floor HDB flat to escape.

Indonesian Tardem, 26 - who goes by one name - had been abused four times that day and had to limp to a neighbour's unit after injuring her right foot while fleeing.

The neighbour, Madam Siti Sofiah Saiyadi, 48, took her to the Alexandra Neighbourhood Police Post to make a report.

Yesterday, the employer, Noryanti Abdul Rahim, 40, was jailed for three months on two counts of maid abuse. Four other charges were considered.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Benny Tan Zhi Peng said that at about 8.15am on Aug 8 last year, Noryanti reprimanded the maid for not closing the main door of her Commonwealth Drive flat.

Noryanti then poked the victim all over her head and slapped her in the face on both sides. Noryanti also hit the victim in the head and shoulder area before dragging her by her T-shirt towards the toilet.

As the maid was crying loudly, Noryanti closed the window near the toilet to prevent her cries from waking the neighbours.

After pulling the victim into the toilet, Noryanti kicked her in the left thigh and further slapped her body several times.

At about 5pm that day, Ms Tardem escaped.

The court heard that, during a scolding in July last year, Noryanti had hit Ms Tardem's head and shoulders repeatedly with an aluminium strainer until it broke.

Noryanti's lawyer Patrick Fernandez asked the court not to jail his client but impose a hefty fine.

He said that she was remorseful and that the maid had been treated well from the start.

However, DPP Tan sought an appropriate jail term, citing aggravating factors.

While the maid's physical injuries might not have been serious, the DPP said Noryanti had inflicted psychological fear and trauma on the victim.

District Judge Low Wee Ping said severe legal punishment should be meted out to any employer or family member who mentally or physically abuses a maid.

The court commended the neighbour for helping the victim to lodge a police report. Noryanti, who was in tears, was allowed to start her sentence on Sept 27. The mother of three could have been jailed for up to three years and/or fined up to $7,500 on each of the two charges.

elena@sph.com.sg