SINGAPORE - Two brothers were jailed on Thursday (Jan 7) for offences related to their family's physical abuse of a female friend with mild intellectual disability which left her in a near-death state.
Muhammad Iskandar Ismail, 32, was jailed for two months and four weeks after pleading guilty to one count of causing hurt to the victim by slapping, punching and tripping her. He also admitted to one count of giving a false statement to the police.
Muhammad Iski Ismail, 30, was jailed for eight months after admitting to one count each of providing a false statement to the police and perverting the course of justice.
Their two sisters also appeared in court on Thursday.
Haslinda Ismail, 34, pleaded guilty to two counts of voluntarily causing hurt and one count of twisting the victim's toe with a plier until it was fractured.
Hasniza Ismail, 39, admitted to one count each of wrongful confinement, voluntarily causing hurt and perverting the course of justice.
The women will be sentenced at a later date, where 14 other charges will be taken into consideration for Haslinda and seven for Hasniza.
In November last year, Haslinda's husband, Hany Aboubakr Abdelkarim Abdelfattah, 33, was jailed for three weeks for his involvement in the abuse.
Court documents state that the victim, now 30, was the secondary school friend of another family member, Mr Muhammad Isafi Ismail, and worked in a fast-food restaurant.
She got to know the rest of his family and grew close to them over time.
After running away from home in early 2016, the woman moved into their flat at Block 714 Woodlands Drive 70, where she stayed rent-free.
But she had to buy her own food and give the siblings' mother, 69-year-old Hasmah Sulong, $150 a month for laundry. She also handed over her ATM card, passport and NRIC to Haslinda upon the latter's demands.
Some time between May and June 2016, Haslinda confronted the victim for performing sexual acts on her husband. From then on, several members of the family abused the victim repeatedly.
This included using pliers to twist her toes, knocking out her teeth with a hammer, using a baseball bat to hit her head and splashing boiling water on her.
The court heard that Haslinda confiscated the victim's mobile phone in June 2016. Thereafter, the victim stopped working at the fast-food restaurant and was made to do household chores without pay. She was also taken to Malaysia on several occasions to help clean the family's flat there.
Haslinda and Hany later moved to a unit at Block 785A Woodlands Rise. On Aug 31, 2017, Haslinda took the victim to her home to help with Hari Raya Haji preparations.
She then made the victim stand in the kitchen and made sure that she did not use the toilet or sleep that night.
After the victim soiled herself the next day, Haslinda struck her with several items and used cable ties to secure her hands and legs.
The victim was forced to continue standing in the kitchen in her soiled trousers until the family arrived for Hari Raya celebrations at around 3pm. Haslinda then urinated into a packet of food and forced the victim to eat it.
Court documents also state that the victim initially slept in the living room, but later had her arm, leg or neck secured with a metal chain to a baby swing bed at night.
She was later chained to a metal plate on the wall outside Hasniza's room, before being moved to the toilet when her incontinence became very severe in December 2017.
By late December 2017, she was chained half-naked to the toilet bowl, where she sat in her own faeces and urine, and ate off the bathroom floor.
She was very weak and had "an unbearable stench", but none of the family members sought any medical treatment for her.
On Jan 16, 2018, the victim was rushed to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in a "near-death state", where she required eight hours of resuscitation in the emergency department.
She was then transferred to Singapore General Hospital, where she was found to be suffering from pneumonia and various injuries such as ear deformities, burns on her body and 10 missing teeth. She was discharged three months later.
According to court documents, Hasniza instructed Iski to tell police officers that the victim had turned up at their flat with her injuries about two weeks before Jan 16, 2018.
She also told him to disseminate her instructions to other family members. Iski and Iskandar subsequently maintained this account in their police statements .
All three family members later confessed that they had lied.
Iskandar, Iski, Haslinda and Hasniza are represented by lawyers Farhan Tyebally, Cheryl Ng, Audrey Koo and Sadhana Devi Daevnrd Rai respectively.
The case for Hasmah is still pending.
Forced to eat food soiled with urine, chained to a toilet bowl: Some of the abuses suffered by the victim
The nightmare began some time between May and June 2016, just a few months after the victim moved in with the family.
For about one and a half years till January 2018, she suffered various abuses, including:
- Made to eat food soiled with urine from one of her abusers;
- Had her toes twisted by pliers, causing one of them to be fractured;
- Scalded with hot water, causing burns on various parts of her body;
- Had her hands, legs or neck chained to a baby swing bed, and later to a metal plate on a wall;
- Chained to a toilet bowl from late December 2017;
- Splashed with hot oil, causing injuries to her lips and burns to her body;
- Had her two upper front teeth struck twice with a hammer, causing her to lose both of them;
- Struck with a baseball bat, broomstick, hanger and towel;
- Made to stand throughout the night without sleeping or using the toilet;
- Punched on her abdomen and arm;
- Kicked on her waist and back while lying on the ground;
- Bound by cable ties;
- Slapped on the face;
- Tripped onto the ground.