Husband of murder suspect charged with maid abuse

Kevin Chelvam, husband of Gaiyathiri Murugayan (left, in red), was accused of removing evidence that could otherwise incriminate her and her mother Prema Naraynasamy (right, in red) in the murder of their maid. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

SINGAPORE - In July, a 37-year-old police officer's wife and mother-in-law were charged with murdering their Myanmar domestic worker.

On Thursday (Aug 11), Kevin Chelvam was himself accused of maid abuse and removing evidence that could otherwise incriminate the two suspects.

Chelvam faces four charges - two of abusing Ms Piang Ngaih Don, 24, one of giving false testimony to a police officer, and another of removing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras from his home.

His wife Gaiyathiri Murugayan, 36, and mother-in-law Prema Naraynasamy, 58, allegedly killed Ms Piang in a ninth-floor flat at Block 145, Bishan Street 11 some time between July 25 and 26.

Police had received a call at about 11am on July 26 for assistance.

When they arrived, Ms Piang - the mother of a three-year-old boy -was found motionless and pronounced dead at the scene.

Chelvam is himself accused of abusing the maid. He allegedly hit her left shoulder with a toy bat on July 23.

A day later, he allegedly hurt her again by grabbing her hair, lifting her body off the ground in the process.

On July 26, after the alleged murder, Chelvam also allegedly removed a CCTV recorder system from his home in a bid to remove evidence of the crime.

But he told a Criminal Investigation Officer that same day that the CCTV cameras were removed half a year ago at the request of one of his flat tenants.

This caused the officer to "cease searching for CCTV evidence that is relevant to the investigation", read the charge.

It is understood that Chelvam has since been suspended from service.

He is out on bail and will next appear in Court on Sept 8.

Prema and Gaiyathiri were also in court yesterday, where they were ordered to be remanded at the Changi Medical Centre for psychiatric evaluation.

The court heard that the women met their family members for about 45 minutes on Wednesday.

Yesterday, they spoke with their lawyer Mr Sunil Sudheesan for about five minutes before being led away.

They will appear in court again on Sept 1.

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