Woman, 37, jailed for repeatedly beating maid

SINGAPORE - Less than five months after working for her employer, domestic worker Ei Phyu Tun ran away after "a series of ferocious beatings" by her boss left her with extensive injuries all over her body.

Chan Mya Aye, 37, had beat her repeatedly over a period of three months - first using just her hand, and later with a modified metal hanger and metal poles.

Chan, a Singapore permanent resident, was sentenced to two years and one month's jail on Tuesday (July 17), on two counts of voluntarily causing hurt to Ms Ei with weapons. She also admitted to one count of hurting her. Both women are Myanmar nationals.

Ms Ei, 26, first started working for Chan and her family on April 23, 2015. She worked seven days a week.

By May that year, Chan would scold Ms Ei for making mistakes in her chores and for taking too long to do them.

The physical abuse started towards the end of June that year, when Chan slapped the victim across her face.

The court heard that Chan then started to hit Ms Ei using objects including metal poles, the handle of a duster, and a metal hanger that she fashioned herself. Chan would also get angry when Ms Ei applied ointment on her wounds.

After one round of beating on Sept 21, 2015, by Chan, Ms Ei applied ointment to her wounds, but this further enraged Chan, who used a metal pole to beat her multiple times on her body and arm, the court heard.

Later that day, Ms Ei finally made her escape while Chan was occupied. She sought the help of passers-by and fled to a Ministry of Manpower office in Bendemeer Road where she reported the abuse. The police were then alerted, and Ms Ei was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

She was found to have bruises, swellings and cuts on her face, body, legs and arms. Her left cheek was so swollen, she had difficulty opening her mouth.

After Chan pleaded guilty in court last year, another hearing was conducted to assess her mental condition and she was found to have suffered from major depressive disorder.

This would have increased her irritability, and caused her to have less self-control when angered, said both the defence's psychiatrist, Dr Ung Eng Khean, and Dr Derrick Yeo from the Institute of Mental Health.

Ms Ei said in an interview with The Straits Times that she felt happy that justice had been served. At the same time, she also felt sorry for her former employer as she had to repeatedly recount her mistakes in court.

Ms Ei plans on returning to Myanmar soon, and currently has no plans to return to Singapore to work.