Singapore: An Indian-origin woman, who joined her daughter in assaulting a domestic help until she died of a brain injury last year, was sentenced to 14 years’ jail on Monday in Singapore.
Prema S. Naraynasamy, 64, did not react and looked down at the ground when the judge announced the sentence, The Straits Times reported.
“The deceased is no longer with us to speak of her suffering but footage from the CCTV showed the shocking picture of the abuse and how emancipated and weak she was before her passing,a Principal District Judge Toh Han Li said.
After 14 months of repeated torture, Piang Ngaih Don, a 24-year-old from Myanmar, died of brain injury with severe blunt trauma to her neck on July 26, 2016.
Naraynasamy’s acts of abuse included, pouring water on the victim; kicking, punching and slapping her; grabbing her by the neck; pulling her up by her hair; and “spinning” her head violently.
On multiple occasions, she assaulted the victim herself, or with her daughter, Gaiyathiri Murugayan, the court was told.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Senthilkumaran Sabapathy told the court that this was one of Singapore’s worst abuse cases involving a high degree of physical and psychological harm.
“The deceased was dragged and thrown around the house like a rag doll… Many of us would not even treat inanimate objects in such a manner. Her life was nothing short of a living nightmare and this was in no small due to Prema’s actions,” Sabapathy was reported as saying in The Straits Times.
In November last year, Naraynasamy pleaded guilty to 47 charges of voluntarily causing hurt to the victim, and one charge of attempting to voluntarily cause hurt.
Her daughter Murugayan, 41, was sentenced on June 22, 2021 to 30 years in prison — the longest jail term meted out in a domestic worker abuse case in Singapore.
Naraynasamy, the court noted, hit the victim with a spatula, towel and a detergent bottle, and watched as the victim used the toilet.
In one of the clips, taken from cameras installed in their three-bedroom flat in Bishan, and played in court earlier, Naraynasamy was seen beating the domestic help with a bamboo pole that was used to hang clothes.
In another, she had grabbed Piang by the hair, dragging her to the ground before lifting her up by her hair again.
Piang weighed 39 kg when she started working for the family on May 28, 2015, but weighed a mere 24 kg when she died on July 26, 2016.
In the last 12 days of her life, she was tied to the window grille at night while she slept on the floor in the same room as Prema, who slept on the bed.
The autopsy found that the maid died from a brain injury following severe blunt trauma to the neck.