Singapore’s State Courts. Photo: Google Maps
Singapore’s State Courts. Photo: Google Maps

A 51-year-old woman was sentenced to two and a half years jail on Christmas Day by the Singapore District Court after pleading guilty in September to abusing her 29-year-old Indonesian domestic worker.

Anita Damu, who is also known as Shazana Abdullah, was jailed for 31 months and ordered to pay the victim S$8,000 (US$5,826) in compensation, half of which was for loss of income that the maid suffered.

The court previously heard that Damu hired the Indonesian woman Siti Khodijah on October 19, 2013, and made her work from 4am until 11pm every day with no rest days, the Lianhe Zaobao (Singapore) reported.

From January 2014 till April 23 in 2015, Damu only gave her worker lunch and dinner twice or three times a week, then only allowed her an average of four hours to sleep every day.

The abuse in terms of food and rest deprivation escalated into physical abuse. Whenever Damu was not satisfied with the worker’s performance, she would slap her on her face and body.

In May or June 2014, when the starved worker ate a longan fruit without permission, she was splashed hot water by Damu on her leg and body, causing permanent burn scars.

The court also learned that other physical abuse included Damu putting a hot iron on both of the worker’s hands and slapping her face with slippers.

The district judge acknowledged that the accused suffered depression, but said she clearly knew what she was doing and that it was wrong because she ordered the worker to keep silent and ordered her to lie to a doctor about what she endured.

Given the severity of the victim’s injuries, Damu was sentenced to 31 months in jail. But she was allowed out on S$20,000 bail as she has appealed against the sentence.

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