Indian family members in Singapore were found guilty of torturing and starving their Myanmarese maid till she passed away. One of them was found guilty in 2021 and given a 30-year jail term; another has admitted responsibility for her part in the tragic mistreatment that resulted in the maid’s death.
The mother of an Indian woman who abused her domestic help in Singapore till she suffered a brain injury and passed away earlier this month entered a guilty plea to many charges for her part in the crime on Monday.
According to The Straits Times, Prema S. Naraynasamy, 64, entered a guilty plea to 48 counts of intentionally inflicting harm on the victim and one count of intentionally attempting to do so.
Prema S. Naraynasamy entered a guilty plea to 48 charges, most of which related to intentionally inflicting harm on Piang Ngaih Don, a migrant from Myanmar who worked as her daughter’s maid. Piang Ngaih Don died on July 26, 2016, following 14 months of starvation, beatings, and other forms of torture.
Reports state that Prema S. Naraynasamy began physically torturing Piang Ngaih Don after learning that her daughter, Gaiyathiri Murugayan, was doing so.
According to the closed-circuit television footage from the cameras placed in the home, Prema Naraynasamy “poured water on her, kicked, punched, slapped, starved, grabbed her by the neck, and pulled her up by her hair.” It was demonstrated that the 24-year-old maid was mistreated till her death from a severe neck injury and brain impairment.
According to Channel News Asia, CCTV evidence revealed the 24-year-old Myanmarian maid was repeatedly tortured for 14 months before she passed away on July 26, 2016, from a severe neck injury and a brain injury.
She also slapped the victim with a spatula, a towel, and a detergent bottle while watching the maid use the washroom.
Naraynasamy was shown beating the domestic help with a bamboo pole used to hang laundry in one of the videos, which were shot from cameras installed in their three-bedroom flat in Bishan and played in court on Monday.
In another, she had seized Piang’s hair and dragged her to the ground before bringing her up again by her hair.
She slept on the floor in the same room as Prema, who slept on the bed, for the final 12 days of her life while being tied to the window grille at night.
Although Naraynasamy lived in her own apartment, she visited Murugayan around three times each week. She would stay over and sleep in the same room as Piang when she did, according to Channel News Asia.
As the video of the abuse was being played in the open court, she did not look up. In May 2015, Piang Ngaih Don began working for a family of Indian descent. At the time of her death, she weighed only 24 kilograms after months of torture. She had previously weighed 39 kilograms.
A 30-year prison term was imposed on Gaiyathiri Murugayan, 41. A police officer’s wife, Gaiyathiri, had admitted guilt on 28 counts. For her sentencing, 87 other counts were also taken into account.
Judge See Kee Oon of the High Court stated that Piang Ngaih Don suffered excruciating bodily and psychological pain for a protracted period of time before she passed away, making this case one of the worst instances of culpable homicide.
In connection with the mistreatment of the maid, Gaiyathiri’s ex-husband Kevin Chelvam, 43, who has been dismissed from his post, is also accused of a number of crimes.
Prema faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a maximum punishment of SGD 5,000 for each accusation of willful injury (approximately USD 3,625). The Apex Court rejected Murugayan’s appeal asking for her sentence to be reduced by half.
According to the media report, the court may impose a punishment that is one and a half times as harsh on her under the heightened penalties for crimes committed against domestic helpers.
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