Housewife gets 13 months’ jail for abusing maid

SINGAPORE: A housewife has been sentenced to 13 months’ jail for abusing her Indonesian domestic helper for more than four months, resulting in an ear deformity.

Norhanita Sulaiman was found guilty of three charges of attacking her maid over what Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Norman Yew termed "trivial reasons".

The 43—year—old mother of two burned her maid’s face with a heated iron, slapped her and threatened her at knife—point.

The assaults took place at her flat in Geylang between March and June 2010.

The court heard that Norhanita was unhappy with her maid’s performance of various household chores.

She threatened to kill the maid with a 12—centimetre knife for forgetting to switch off a thermal flask after use.

On another occasion, she placed an iron on her maid’s cheek for not ironing clothes properly.

As a result, the 44—year—old helper suffered multiple injuries, including abrasions and scarring.

DPP Yew said the maid also suffered mental abuse as she was instructed by Norhanita to lie to a doctor about the cause of her injuries.

District Judge Liew Thiam Leng noted that the domestic helper was in a vulnerable position when Norhanita abused her authority.

MediaCorp understands the maid is currently seeking employment in Singapore.

— CNA/al