A 45-year-old woman who confined and physically abused her Filipina domestic helper, has had her jail term tripled to 24 weeks as prosecutors won in an appeal case at Singapore’s High Court last Friday.
At the end of 2011, Jonna Memeje Muegue, now 28, started working for Chua Siew Peng and her 76-year-old mother, Lum Wai Lui, in an apartment at Maplewoods on Bukit Timah Road that belonged to Chua’s younger sister, Kathleen Chua Siew Wei, Lianhe Zaobao reports.
Muegue was physically abused by the Chua sisters and Lum for 11 months and was not allowed to take leave, talk to outsiders or make any phone calls during the period.
On October 29, 2012, Lum punched and slapped Muegue as she ate food that was not meant for her. Lum also slammed the maid’s head against the wall and poured bleach on her, while Chua Siew Peng pulled her hair and slapped her repeatedly.
The following day, Muegue escaped the apartment by climbing out of a window but fractured her feet when she landed on a roof one floor below, The Straits Times reports.
In February 2016, Lum was given 21 months’ probation, instead of imprisonment, as she was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
In May of last year, Chua Siew Peng was jailed for eight weeks after she was found guilty on one count of wrongful confinement and one count of causing hurt to the maid. Both Chua and the prosecutor appealed to the High Court.
On Friday, Justice Chan Seng Onn dismissed Chua’s appeal and allowed the prosecution’s appeal.