A couple who routinely slapped their Indonesian maid and even threatened to send her to work in the sex trade in Batam had their jail terms increased after the prosecution won its appeal yesterday.
Khairani Abdul Rahman, a 42-year-old customer service officer, had her four-week jail term doubled to eight. Her 47-year-old husband, senior logistics officer Rosman Anwar, had his jail term tripled from two weeks to six.
In allowing the prosecution's appeal, Judicial Commissioner See Kee Oon said the original sentences were manifestly inadequate for the prolonged nature of the abuse and the psychological and emotional toll on the maid.
In an earlier trial, the couple had been found guilty of causing hurt to Ms Solichah, 28. Khairani was convicted of three charges - two for slapping the maid and one for hitting her with a plastic stool. The husband was convicted on two charges - slapping the maid and pulling her hair.
The couple appealed against their conviction, while Deputy Public Prosecutor Amanda Chong appealed to increase their jail terms.
Ms Solichah had testified that she was regularly slapped by the couple for the mistakes she made during the almost 21 months that she worked for them in their Sengkang East Road home.
She was traumatised by the abuse. Even though she was happy working for her new employers, she said she would feel sad and cry whenever she thought about what happened.
At the trial, an employee of the maid agency who was present when she fled there in March 2013 said Ms Solichah was crying and "looked very frightened". The employee said she had trouble recognising Ms Solichah because the maid had lost a lot of weight.
Khairani, who has finished serving her original jail term, will now go back to prison. Rosman, who is out on bail of $5,000, will serve his sentence after his wife is released.
They have been allowed to take turns to serve their jail terms as they have three school-going children.