Canberra Drive in Singapore. Photo: Google Maps
Canberra Drive in Singapore. Photo: Google Maps

A 57-year-old former warrant officer of Indian origin in the Singapore Army was sentenced to four months and three weeks’ jail on Monday after she was convicted of abusing and beating her maid in 2012.

The defendant, K Rajakumari, who retired after 35 years of military service, had already been found guilty to five counts of causing hurt to her Indian maid named Sargunam Jeeva on September 5, Shin Min Daily News reported.

Rajakumari was told of her sentence on Monday after the court ruled that she had not suffered from depression during the more than three weeks when the abuse occurred. Her jail term will start from December 1, 2017.

Between February and March 2012, Rajakumari repeatedly beat Jeeva, who arrived in Singapore for the first time to work as a domestic, in a Canberra Drive condominium near Sembawang Road. The maid was 35 at the time.

The court previously learned that the then in-service warrant officer began scolding the maid in the first two weeks after she started work. The abuse became physical after the third week.

The employer prevented the maid from getting help by taking away her Ministry of Manpower ‘Guide for Foreign Workers’ and the contact number for her employment agency after she arrived at the apartment.

On March 3, 2012, Rajakumari was reportedly outraged after her maid failed to iron her uniform well. The officer started beating Jeeva with a plastic hanger – on her shoulders and arms – until it broke.

On March 5, the employer ordered her maid to reheat leftover nasi beriani from the kitchen, and then vented her anger on Jeeva because the dish was stale. Rajakumari gave Jeeva a smack across the face, then dragged her to the living room by pulling her hair and pushed her up against a window frame. She then gave the maid, who had fallen over, a hard kick in the waist.

The abused maid sought help from an Indonesian maid working next door, who reported the case to the police.

According to a report by The Straits Times, Rajakumari apologized to Jeeva in Tamil and asked her to hush up the regular bouts of abuse in the presence of a team of police investigators, one of whom happened to be able to understand the language.

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