On 1 August, a Singaporean woman was sentenced to 11 years' jail for subjecting her maid to "horrific abuse"
58-year-old Zariah Mohd Ali used household items, such as a hammer, chopper, bamboo pole, scissors, and pestle, causing her maid to suffer permanent disfiguration.
According to The Straits Times, the prosecution called this one of the worst maid abuse cases in Singapore.
It is also noted to be the longest sentence for maid abuse.
In 2017, Zariah was found guilty of 12 charges
The charges include:
- Hitting the back of the maid's head and mouth with a hammer.
- Striking her maid's forehead with a pestle.
- Hitting the victim's left ear with a pole.
- Stabbing her shoulder with a pair of scissors.
- Bending her little finger back until it broke.
- Slashing her arm with a chopper.
The victim was attacked with a hammer on five different occasions
Channel NewsAsia revealed that there was a time Zariah had told her maid to grin before she swung a hammer at her mouth.
Khanifah was also left with a deformed ear, permanent scars on her forehead and back, and a left finger that is now functionally impaired.
Her 60-year-old husband, Mohamad Dahlan, was also found guilty of hitting Khanifah's head with a frying pan in 2012.
Aside from being physically abused, the maid suffered psychologically as Zariah bullied her into submission
Khanifah was not allowed to use the phone to call anyone, and was prevented from speaking to their neighbours.
She was also required to stay in the kitchen toilet whenever visitors came over.
Zariah has been ordered to compensate the victim with nearly SGD56,000 (RM169,000) or be required to serve an additional five months in jail
Her husband Mohamad Dahlan was also sentenced to 15 months' jail, and ordered to pay the victim SGD1,000 (RM3,000), or serve an additional five days in jail for his role in the abuse.
"This is indubitably one of the worst cases of maid abuse in Singapore's recent history... A strong message must be sent out that such treatment of domestic workers within the home cannot be tolerated by the courts," Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Wen Hsien said, according to The Straits Times.
"Sadly, both persons (Zariah and Mohamad) demonstrated no remorse [for their actions]," District Judge Tan said.
The couple, who were previously convicted for abusing another maid in 2001, is appealing.
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