An Indian-origin Singaporean woman has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for killing and abusing her domestic worker over 14 months of employment, according to a media report on Tuesday. Gaiyathiri Murugayan pleaded guilty to 28 charges, including culpable homicide, voluntarily causing grievous hurt by starvation, voluntarily causing hurt by a heated substance and wrongful restraint in February, reported Channel News Asia.
The 41-year-old woman has received the longest jail term meted out in Singapore in a domestic worker abuse case. On July 26, 2016, Piang Ngaih Don, a 24-year-old Myanmar national, died after being attacked by both Gaiyathiri and her mother, which led to a bone in her throat being fractured and irreversible brain damage.
Over the course of about 14 months, Piang, who came to Singapore to work for Gaiyathiri in May 2015, was kicked, punched and beaten with objects such as a broom and a metal ladle. Gaiyathiri had also lifted Piang up by her hair, shook her violently and pulled out a clump of her hair, even using an iron to burn the domestic worker's arm on one occasion, the report said.
Pronouncing the judgment on Tuesday, Justice See Kee Oon said the prosecution had painted a shocking story of how the victim was abused, tortured, humiliated, starved and ultimately died at the hands of the accused.
"The prosecution's submissions are framed in forcefully emotive terms, but words cannot adequately describe the abject cruelty of the accusedâ€™s appalling conduct," he said. "This is undoubtedly among the worst cases of culpable homicide," Justice See said.
Gaiyathiri's husband, suspended police officer Kevin Chelvam, faces five charges linked to the case for assaulting Piang and lying to the police that CCTV cameras in his flat had been removed. Gaiyathiri's mother, Prema Narayanasamy, also has pending charges, according to the Channel report.