Indian-origin woman’s kin pleads guilty to fatal abuse of maid in S’pore

The mother of an Indian-origin woman in Singapore, who assaulted her domestic help until she died of a brain injury earlier this month, pleaded guilty on Monday to multiple charges for her involvement in the crime.

Prema S. Naraynasamy, 64, pleaded guilty to 47 charges of voluntarily causing hurt to the the victim, and one charge of attempting to voluntarily cause hurt, The Straits Times reported.

Naraynasamy’s daughter Gaiyathiri Murugayan, 41, was sentenced on June 22, 2021 to 30 years in prison — the longest jail term meted out in a domestic worker abuse case in Singapore.

After 14 months of repeated torture, Piang Ngaih Don, a 24-year-old from Myanmar, died of brain injury with severe blunt trauma to her neck on July 26, 2016.

Naraynasamy’s acts of abuse included, pouring water on the victim; kicking, punching and slapping her; grabbing her by the neck; pulling her up by her hair; and “spinning” her head violently.

She also hit the victim with a spatula, a towel and a detergent bottle, and watched as the maid used the toilet.

In one of the clips, taken from cameras installed in their three-bedroom flat in Bishan, and played in court on Monday, Naraynasamy was seen beating the domestic help with a bamboo pole that was used to hang clothes.

In another, she had grabbed Piang by the hair, dragging her to the ground before lifting her up by her hair again.

Piang weighed 39 kg when she started working for the family on May 28, 2015, but weighed a mere 24 kg when she died on July 26, 2016.

In the last 12 days of her life, she was tied to the window grille at night while she slept on the floor in the same room as Prema, who slept on the bed.

Naraynasamy had her own flat but stayed over with Murugayan about three times a week. When she stayed over, she would sleep in the same room as Piang, Channel News Asia reported.

She did not look up as footage of the abuse was played in the open court.

Murugayan, wife of a police officer, admitted in February last year to starving, torturing and killing Piang.

In sentencing Murugayan, High Court judge See Kee Oon described the case as “among the worst cases of culpable homicide”.

He said: “Words cannot adequately describe the abject cruelty of the accused’s appalling conduct.”

Narayanasamy had originally also faced a murder charge, but was later given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal.

Her case has been adjourned for mitigation and sentencing and is expected to be heard again on January 9, 2023, The Straits Times said.

The paper added that for each charge of voluntarily causing hurt, she can be jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

Murugayan’s appeal for her sentence to be halved has been dismissed by the Apex Court.




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