Singaporean Who Starved, Tortured and Killed 24-Yr-Old Myanmar Maid Gets 30 Years in Jail

A Singaporean woman has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for starving, torturing and ultimately killing her domestic helper from Myanmar. According to reports, the judgment in the maid abuse case is the longest jail term ever in Singapore.

Gaiyathiri Murugayan, 40, is the wife of a policeman, who had pleaded guilty to many charges, including culpable homicide against the Myanmar maid. Reportedly, Piang Ngaih Don succumbed to her injuries and weighed only 24 kgs (53lb) in 2016 which was 15 Kgs less than when she started working for the family on May 28, 2015.

"Words cannot adequately describe the abject cruelty of the accused's appalling conduct," High Court judge See Kee Oon said Murugayan's evil and utterly inhumane act has left everyone shocked in the state. It is among a series of high-profile maid abuse cases in recent years. The High Court judged said the prosecution had painted a shocking picture of how the Myanmar maid was mercilessly killed by the policeman's wife.

Myanmar maid killed by woman in Singapore
Myanmar maid killed by woman in Singapore Web Screen Grab

Gaiyathiri Murugayan Chocked Myanmar Maid Piang Ngaih Don To Death

Reportedly, during the trial of the case, it had been revealed that Ms Murugayan started abusing her young domestic helper from October 2015, shortly after Piang had landed in Singapore for her first job overseas.

CCTV footage from cameras installed in the house showed the maid was often being assaulted several times a day during the last month of her life. Culprit Murugayan burned her helper with heated iron and was also accused of throwing her around like a ragdoll.

The court also heard that the Myanmar maid was mostly given sliced bread soaked in water, cold food from the fridge, or some rice only as part of the abuse she suffered before her demise. The maid lost about 38 percent of her body weight in a period of 14 months. In July 2016, the helper, 24, died from oxygen deprivation to her brain after being repeatedly choked over several hours by Murugayan and her mother.

Gaiyathiri Murugayan Suffers Psychiatric Condition

Murugayan's lawyers claim she suffers from depression and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder and sought a sentence of eight or nine years. Judge See Kee said that while the judgment must "signal societal outrage and abhorrence", it cannot be ignored that the sentencing of Gaiyathiri was affected due to her psychiatric condition.

Several psychiatrists assessed Gaiyathiri and declared she suffered from post-partum depression and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, which had significantly contributed to her criminal offences.

In February, Gaiyathiri had pleaded guilty to 28 criminal charges, including culpable homicide, for which she has been sentenced to 20 years in jail.