A 25-year-old Indian-origin man has been sentenced to six months in jail in Singapore for grievously beating up his domestic help from Myanmar in 2020. Suriya Krishnan was also ordered to pay Singapore dollars 8,500 in compensation to the 27-year-old victim.
Krishnan on Tuesday pleaded guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt to his domestic worker – where the hurt was not intended to be grievous but turned out to be so. A second charge of kicking the maid’s head, shoulder and thigh was taken into consideration, Channel News Asia reported.
The court heard that the victim, a Myanmar national, was employed by Suriya’s sister. Suriya lived in a flat in Hougang Housing Estate here with his sister, parents and the victim.
On the night of May 29, 2020, Suriya’s family was celebrating his father’s birthday in the apartment. Before celebrations began, Suriya consumed a 750ml bottle of liquor and was intoxicated. At about 8.30pm, Suriya’s mother instructed the victim to cut some jelly for Suriya. The victim went to the kitchen to do so, but was followed by Suriya, who asked her to prepare some food for him.
The victim passed a remark to the effect that Suriya ate a lot. This, along with the fact that she did not cut the jelly in a manner that he wanted, made Suriya upset. He scolded the victim, prompting his mother to intervene and to scold him.
He left the kitchen, but later returned and punched the maid’s face three times. One of the punches landed under her right eye, and she covered her face in pain and cowered. Suriya was restrained by his family members.
The victim sought medical treatment and was found to have suffered fractures of her right orbital floor and lamina papyracea, around her eye socket. She also had bruising and bleeding, with pain in eye movement. The domestic worker was admitted to hospital and later discharged for outpatient follow-up treatment, and the hospital filed a police report.
She stopped working for Suriya’s sister after the incident, but was paid for the month of May 2020. The prosecutor asked for seven months’ jail, saying the case involved a vulnerable victim, and that Suriya was voluntarily intoxicated at the time.
On top of this, the prosecution sought a compensation order of Singapore dollars 8,500. Of this, Singapore dollars 1,000 was for the victim’s loss of income, and Singapore dollars 7,500 was for her pain and suffering. Suriya’s lawyer asked for six months’ jail instead. He said the maid had smirked when Suriya’s mother scolded him, which “provoked” him to punch her.
The lawyer said his client was unable to pay the compensation and would serve the jail term in default. The judge ordered Suriya to serve six months’ jail. If he cannot pay the Singapore dollars 8,500 in compensation, he will have to serve another one month in default, according to the Channel report.