Stained Gucci sunglasses, fake watches, frayed Prada bag: Why maid was acquitted of stealing from CAG chief

In a detailed 100-page judgment on Friday, a High Court judge acquitted a former domestic worker of stealing from the affluent family that she worked for.

Once Ms Parti Liyani made clear - upon being fired - her desire to complain to MOM, the Liew family "followed up with the police report to ensure her return would be prevented", said Justice Chan Seng Onn. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB

Judge: Police report was to stop maid from complaining to M.O.M.

For the nine years from 2007 that she worked for Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong and his family, Indonesian Parti Liyani had a relatively harmonious relationship with its members.

They gave her generous red packets and raised her monthly salary from $300 to $600.

However, from time to time, she clashed with her employer's son, Karl, over her household chores at the Chancery Lane family home.


1st charge: DVD player faulty, Liew couldn't give details on 'stolen' bags

Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong and his wife Madam Ng Lai Peng. ST PHOTOS: WONG KWAI CHOW

Ms Parti Liyani was accused of stealing a $1,000 Pioneer DVD player and two Longchamp bags worth about $200 each from Mr Liew Mun Leong.

In her defence, Ms Parti said that in 2012 or 2013, Mr Liew's wife, Madam Ng Lai Peng, wanted to throw the DVD player away because it was broken, but agreed to let her take it back to Indonesia to fix.

Madam Ng said in court, however, that the DVD player was not broken. At the trial, it was shown that the device could play a video digitally stored in the hard disk. However, a demonstration at the appeal showed that when a DVD was inserted into the player, the error message "could not initialise disc" was displayed.


2nd charge: Judge notes serious risk of evidence contamination

Justice Chan Seng Onn said Mr Karl Liew's testimony against Ms Parti Liyani at trial was internally inconsistent. PHOTO: ST FILE, WONG KWAI CHOW

The bulk of the items that Ms Parti Liyani was accused of stealing allegedly belonged to Mr Karl Liew.

These included over 100 pieces of clothing, two wallets, bed linen, kitchen utensils, a damaged luxury watch and two iPhone 4 phones.

At the end of the trial, the district judge removed the wallets - a Gucci and a Braun Buffel - and some women's clothing from the charge as there was doubt over whether they were his.


3rd charge: Daughter's two watches were counterfeit ones

Ms Parti Liyani was accused of stealing two watches, various fashion accessories including rings and earrings, and a pair of Gucci sunglasses from Mr Liew Mun Leong's daughter, Cheng May.

Ms Parti said she had found the watches in Ms Liew's rubbish bin.

They were counterfeit; one, a "Vacheron Constantin", had been bought from a Shanghai street vendor in the 2000s, while the other was a Swatch that Ms Parti said she found in 2012.


4th charge: Prada bag was frayed, Gucci sunglasses were stained red

Ms Parti Liyani was accused of stealing a Prada bag worth $1,000 and a pair of Gucci sunglasses worth $500. PHOTO: ST FILE

Ms Parti Liyani was accused of stealing a Prada bag worth $1,000 and a pair of Gucci sunglasses worth $500 from Mr Karl Liew's wife, Madam Heather Lim.

Madam Lim testified that she had not disposed of either item, though neither was in good condition.

She said she used the bag, which had frayed, when going to the gym and that the sunglasses were stained red as a result of being rubbed against her bag.

However, Justice Chan Seng Onn said the condition of the items supported the defence's contention that they had been discarded.


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