SINGAPORE, July 17 — Unhappy with her domestic helper over how she performed household chores, Chan Mya Aye assaulted her fellow Myanmar national with metal poles and an improvised metal hanger, causing her to suffer a fractured rib, among other injuries.
For her actions, Chan Mya Aye was sentenced to 25 months’ jail today.
The 39-year-old Singapore permanent resident pleaded guilty in January 2017 to two counts of voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon, and one count of voluntarily causing hurt, with three other similar charges taken into consideration for sentencing.
The court earlier heard that Chan Mya Aye employed Ms Ei Phyu Tun as her domestic helper through the latter’s cousin in Myanmar, instead of using a maid agency.
The domestic helper lived with the housewife and her husband, mother, baby daughter and a tenant in their Choa Chu Kang flat from April to September 2015. Chan Mya Aye was her first employer.
About a month after Ms Ei Phyu Tun, now 25, started work, Chan Mya Aye began scolding her for making mistakes in her chores, and taking too long to complete her tasks.
Chan Mya Aye then began physically abusing the younger woman in June 2015, and slapped her once on the face.
She then ramped up her assault by using implements — including 70cm-long metal poles, the metal handle of a duster, and an improvised metal hanger — to assault the maid.
In September 2015, she used the metal hanger to hit the victim numerous times on her face, neck and chest while she was washing the dishes as she was unhappy with how Ms Ei Phyu Tun had performed her household chores.
About four days later, she slapped her multiple times in the face, before using a metal pole to hit her several times on her back, left hip, left arm and both legs.
After the beating, Ms Ei Phyu Tun treated her wounds with traditional Burmese ointment. But her actions angered her employer, who used a metal pole later in the afternoon to hit her again multiple times on her back, left hip, left arm and left wrist.
Seeing that her employer was occupied, Ms Ei Phyu Tun fled and took a taxi to the Ministry of Manpower with the help of some passers-by.
The ministry called the police to report that she was in pain, and required an ambulance. She was then taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where a doctor found that she had sustained several bruises, lacerations, and a rib fracture. She also had multiple laceration scars on her back.
Seeking at least 27 months’ imprisonment, Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Ong said that Chan Mya Aye chose not to replace Ms Ei Phyu Tun as that would cause “a great inconvenience to her”.
She had admitted that she was venting her anger on her helper, and two psychiatrists also found that she had major depressive disorder (MDD).
During sentencing, District Judge Sarah Tan said: “I take cognizance of the fact that she suffers from MDD, as established by both doctors. However, I will not be able to agree that her culpability was diminished to the extent sought by the defence.”
While Chan Mya Aye had pleaded guilty, she only did so on the day her trial was supposed to begin, the judge noted. She has made compensation of S$10,300 (RM30,546) to Ms Ei Phyu Tun.
Speaking to reporters after the sentencing, Ms Ei Phyu Tun said she “felt very pain(ed)” when present in the courtroom with her former employer, as she recalled what had happened. She returned to Myanmar last November, and is working in a garment factory there.
She also said that her employer’s mother had tried to shield her during the assaults, but Chan Mya Aye would beat her more when that happened.
“I’m so sad,” she said simply, when asked how she felt.
For voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon, Chan Mya Aye could have been jailed up to seven years and/or fined. For voluntarily causing hurt, she could have been jailed up to two years and/or fined up to S$5,000. — TODAY