Singapore: A woman has been sentenced to 30 years in jail after being found guilty of starving, abusing, and murdering her Myanmar domestic helper.
Piang Ngaih Don was said to have weighed just 24kg (53lb) before she died in 2016 from her injuries.
The acts of Gaiyathiri Murugayan, the wife of a police officer, have been described as “evil and utterly inhumane” by prosecutors.
It’s the latest in a long line of high-profile maid abuse allegations in the affluent city-state.
Ms. Murugayan, 40, had pleaded guilty to a variety of counts against Ms. Piang, including culpable murder.
The prosecution described a “shocking” picture of how the 24-year-old lady was tormented, humiliated, malnourished, and eventually murdered, according to the court.
He called the case “one of the worst cases of culpable homicide” in the city-state, and stated that no words could adequately convey the amount of torture the young lady had to suffer in the month leading up to her death.
Ms. Murugayan started assaulting Ms. Piang in October 2015, soon after she came to Singapore for her first work abroad, the court heard during the trial.
The violence she endured in the final month of her life was captured on CCTV video from cameras placed in the home, with her being beaten multiple times a day.
Ms. Murugayan was also accused of “throwing her around like a ragdoll” after allegedly burning her with a heated clothes iron.
Ms. Piang’s meals were frequently sliced bread soaked in water, cold food from the fridge, or rice, according to the court. In 14 months, she dropped 15 kg, or approximately 38% of her body weight.
Ms. Murugayan and her mother brutally attacked the 24-year-old helper over the course of many hours, and she died in July 2016.
Ms. Piang died from oxygen deprivation to her brain after being choked several times, according to an autopsy report.
Ms. Murugayan’s attorneys had requested an eight- or nine-year term, claiming that the defendant was depressed and had an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.
Her husband, who has been suspended from his job as a cop, and her mother are both facing several charges in connection with the case.
Around 250,000 foreign domestic workers live in Singapore, mostly from Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines.
Abuse is a frequent occurrence. In 2017, a couple was sentenced to prison for starving their Filipino domestic helper. Another pair was sentenced to prison in 2019 for assaulting a Myanmar servant.