SINGAPORE-An Indian-origin former woman warrant officer in the Singapore Army was on Monday jailed for four months and three weeks for abusing and beating her Indian maid.
K Rajakumari, 57, who retired after 35 years of service, apologised to Sargunam Jeeva in Tamil and asked her not to tell anyone about her ordeal which included being hit by a plastic hanger until it broke.
But the police officer investigating the case understood the language and Rajakumari was caught, ‘The Straits Times‘ reported on Monday.
She was charged for repeatedly abusing her maid in 2012.
After a 14-day trial, District Judge Imran Abdul Hamid convicted Rajakumari on September 5 last year of five counts of causing hurt to Jeeva, then 35, in her condominium apartment.
Jeeva first came to Singapore in late January 2012 but was abused between February and March of the same year.
Rajakumari had picked her and she was to be paid Singapore dollars 350 a month without any days off.
Jeeva, who had studied up to eighth grade and could not speak English, was regularly scolded with caustic remarks by Rajakumari by the second week of February 2012 and the abuse soon became physical.
On the night of March 3, 2012, after Jeeva ironed Rajakumari’s uniform, the employer chided the maid for not knowing how to do a proper job of ironing.
She then hit Jeeva on her left upper arm with a plastic hanger until it broke.
Two days later, she scolded and slapped the maid hard on her face before pulling her hair and pushing her face against the window grill and kicking her in the waist.
Jeeva told the employer that she could not “withstand this torture any more” and requested Rajakumari to send her back to the agent’s house.
But Rajakumari told her this was not possible. That night, Jeeva gestured to a maid in a neighbouring home for help and the latter called the police.
A policeman later heard Rajakumari tell Jeeva in Tamil: “Please forgive me, I won’t do this anymore, please don’t tell anyone about the abuse”.
Unknown to Rajakumari, the officer could speak the language. Rajakumari later admitted to him that she had hit Jeeva. Rajakumari’s lawyer Kalidass Murugaiyan had earlier asked the judge to sentence his client to probation, stressing that she has had three hip replacements.
For each count of maid abuse, she could have been jailed for up to three years and fined up to Singapore dollars 7,500.