Singaporean admits guilt in maid's death

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 25 Feb 2021

A Singaporean woman has admitted to starving, assaulting and ultimately killing her domestic worker from Myanmar in what prosecutors called one of the worst cases of maid abuse in the city-state.

The financial hub is home to about 250,000 domestic workers who mostly come from poorer Asian countries, and stories of mistreatment are common.

But the abuse meted out against Piang Ngaih Don was particularly awful, with the helper stamped on, strangled, choked, battered with brooms and burned with an iron.

Gaiyathiri Murugayan, 40, pleaded guilty to 28 charges against the 24-year-old maid.

"That one human being would treat another in this evil and utterly inhumane manner is cause for the righteous anger of the court; and the law must come down with full force," prosecutors said.

The maid was employed by Gaiyathiri and her husband in 2015 to help take care of their four-year-old daughter and one-year-old son. But she physically assaulted the victim almost daily, with her 61-year-old mother sometimes joining in.

The domestic worker finally died in July 2016 after Gaiyathiri repeatedly assaulted her over several hours.

Piang Ngaih Don, who had worked for the family for over a year, was provided with very little food, and was forced to shower and relieve herself with the door open.

Gaiyathiri's husband also faces multiple charges.

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