Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A Brunei employer was sentenced to six years in prison for gross abuse of her Indonesian domestic worker.

From March 2011 to September 2012, Siti Atiqah binti Md Raduan repeatedly abused the 44-year-old domestic worker by pinching the victim’s private parts, hitting her hands with a belt, which caused disfigurement to one of her fingers, and hitting her repeatedly with a stone pestle, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

In January 2016, the employer was charged in the High Court in Brunei with five counts of assault. She also faced a charge under the Trafficking and Smuggling of People order for recruiting the domestic worker for the purpose of exploitation through forced slavery.

The employer’s legal representative told the court that the defendant had suffered from schizophrenia from the age of 12. However, a psychiatrist’s evaluation of the employer’s mental state ruled that she was sane during the time the abuse occurred.

The abuse is alleged to have occurred at the family home in Perumahan Polis Kawalan Diraja off Jalan Istana Darul Hana.

The court sentenced the employer to six years in prison and she was ordered to pay the domestic worker compensation of 10,000 Bruneian dollars (US$7,337) or serve an additional two months in prison in default of payment.

However, the court granted a stay of the woman having to serve the jail term while she lodges an appeal.