A Housing Development Board house at 31 Woodlands Street, Singapore. Photo: Google Maps
A Housing Development Board house at 31 Woodlands Street, Singapore. Photo: Google Maps

A Singapore court found a 56-year-old woman guilty of 12 criminal charges on Friday after she used hammer and other weapons to attack her Indonesian domestic worker between June and December 2012, causing permanent disfiguration of the victim.

Zariah Mohd Ali had faced 28 charges of voluntarily causing grievous  harm to her 37-year-old domestic worker named Khanifah, who hailed from Indramayu regency in West Java, as well as two other charges under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, Lianhe Wanbao reported.

She was found guilty of 12 charges, including hitting Khanifah’s mouth and head with a hammer, striking her left ear with a bamboo pole, stabbing her left shoulder with a pair of scissors and forcefully pushing her left little finger.

Her 58-year-old husband, Mohamad Dahlan, was also convicted of  hitting Khanifah’s head with the cover of a frying pan.

Zariah, who has suffered a stroke and is weak on her left side, can still take care of herself and go to work by taxi.

Zariah started to scold and hit her domestic worker after Khanifah began working for her in the couple’s Housing Development Board home on Woodlands Street. When Zariah got angry, she sometimes threw knives at the maid or sprayed detergent in her eyes, Shin Min Daily reported.

Khanifah was twice hit in the mouth with a hammer, with two of her teeth broken and two others becoming detached. She was once hit by a hammer on the back of her head, but was only given a sanitary pad to stop the bleeding.

When Khanifah went shopping with her employer’s daughter, she was ordered to wear long sleeves to cover her bruises. She was made to hide in a toilet during her employer’s gatherings with friends. She was unable to contact her family as her phone was locked up by her employer.

In December 2012, the employment agency was made aware of Khanifah’s case. Zariah and her husband agreed to compensate the domestic worker with S$15,580 (US$11,450) but only paid S$2,000.

Khanifah was then sent back to her home country and was hospitalized for 15 days. She suffered permanent disfiguration of different parts of her body.

The couple will be sentenced on November 23.

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