Representational Image arrest
Reuters

A Singapore couple tortured and abused their Burmese domestic helper by caning and kicking her. They also forcefully feed her a mixture of rice and sugar by using a funnel and when the victim threw up they ordered her to eat her own vomit. As per the court documents, the victim is a 32-year-old Myanmar national, Moe Moe Than, also forced to perform her chores clad while wearing bra and shots. On Monday, both the abusers were presented in court for sentencing.

The 41-year-old Tay Wee Kiat, a former regional IT manager sentenced to two years of jail term and asked to pay a compensation of $3,000 as he was found guilty of six charges of causing hurt.

His wife, Chia Yun Ling, 43, convicted of 15 charges, was sentenced to three years and 11 months of imprisonment, including a fine of $4,000. Chia was also asked to pay her maid $6,500 as compensation. The sentencing took place just two weeks later both the accused were convicted of maid abuse.

The court also found that Chia, who has three children, was found guilty of six offences under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act that includes forcing the maid to perform her chores scantily clad and failing to provide enough food to her.

The judge also ordered the couple to compensate S$9,500 to the domestic helper.

But it was revealed that this is not the first time when the couple faced such serious charges against them, as both of them faced a jail term for abusing their previous maid Fitriyah, 34. While Tan faced two years and four months of imprisonment, Chia was handed a two-month jail term for committing assault. After appealing in High Court, last year in March, Tay's jail term was increased to three years and seven months, while Chia got out of the jail as soon as she finished her two months' sentence.

During the court hearing, Than testified that after initially she was given rice and cabbage for meals but later the couple started to give her only plain rice and water. After a medical check-up at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, doctors found multiple healed scars on her forearm, wrist and hip.

District Judge Olivia Low noted that when the maid told the employer that she had not been given enough food, the couple pushed a funnel into her mouth and forcefully fed her until she threw up. Later, the accused couple asked the maid to eat her own vomit also.

She worked for the couple from January 8 to November 12 in 2012 and one day she was sent back to Myanmar. After leaving Singapore she talked to her Myanmar agent about the abuse and torture. After Singapore's Ministry of Manpower came to know about the series of incidents, they arranged the return of the victim, who then filed a police complaint against the couple.