SINGAPORE: A woman who was found guilty of mistreating two of her domestic helpers at her Sentosa Cove residence was on Friday (Jan 27) sentenced to 10 months’ jail and ordered to pay compensation to each of the victims.
Tan Lee Hoon, 58, had denied hurting the two domestic helpers during a trial that began in December 2020.
She was convicted for seven out of eight charges of voluntarily causing hurt by the district courts last December and was granted a discharge amounting to an acquittal for the remaining charge.
In sentencing Tan for the seven charges, District Judge Salina Ishak said on Friday that a custodial sentence is usually warranted in cases that involved physical abuse of domestic helpers.
Given their vulnerable status, there was a need for public deterrence against abuse by employers towards their helpers, she said.
Her defence lawyers said in court that she intends to file an appeal against her conviction and sentence.
All eight charges relate to Tan repeatedly assaulting her two Filipino maids, Ms Lizardo Joan Lozares and Ms Jenefer Vegafria Arangote.
The offences took place at Tan's residence on Paradise Island, which is one of the five man-made islands at Sentosa Cove.
The acquitted charge relates to an alleged incident of Tan hitting Ms Lozares’ torso with a stick sometime in 2018 at the residence.
The court heard that Tan's abuse of her two maids began in September 2018, a month after both Ms Lozares and Ms Vegafria were employed by Tan’s husband Sim Guan Huat.
Although Sim, 60, had hired the two victims, it was Tan who primarily managed their day-to-day duties.
Sim was sentenced to five weeks' jail and an S$8,000 fine in May 2021 for illegally employing Ms Lozares.
The court previously heard that in one incident, Tan had hurt Ms Lozares by kicking her chest while the latter was helping her employer put on her socks and shoes.
In her evidence, Ms Lozares said that Tan was angry with her for putting on the socks wrongly.
Tan was also said to have pinched Ms Vegafria’s chest, stomach, left arm, right bicep and right thigh.
During the trial, it was revealed that Tan had several medical conditions, had difficulty sleeping and needed to be ma...