Friday, 18 Sep 2020

Maid allegedly abused by female teacher is also said to have been assaulted by a man in 2018

SINGAPORE – More details of the abuse a maid allegedly suffered at the hands of a female primary school teacher have emerged after The Straits Times learnt that a man had earlier been charged with assaulting the same domestic helper.

Arunachalam Muthiah’s case was heard in a district court on Tuesday (Aug 25).

He was the owner of the condominium unit in Jalan Mata Ayer near Sembawang Road, where the maid is said to have been abused between June and August 2018.

He currently faces three counts of assaulting the maid, Ms Hla Hla Miang.

Arunachalam allegedly kicked her at around 4.30am on June 28, and again on July 16 that year.

He is also said to have punched the maid once on her forehead about a week later.

The case involving primary school teacher Nachammai Selva Nachiappan was heard in court on Monday.

The 38-year-old faces a total of five assault charges.

She allegedly flung a hot ladle at Ms Hla Hla Miang that struck the maid’s right forearm on June 25, and hit the maid with her hand and a hanger two days later.

The maid is said to have been poked in the face with a finger on July 14 by Nachammai.

The following month, the teacher allegedly flicked some hot garlic from a ladle that landed on the maid’s right arm, causing her pain.

In a statement on Monday, the Ministry of Education (MOE) told ST that it will review the case against Nachammai and take the appropriate actions according to its internal disciplinary processes.

Its spokesman added: “MOE takes a serious view of staff misconduct and will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against those who fail to adhere to our standards of conduct and discipline, including dismissal from service.”

If convicted of maid abuse, Arunachalam can be jailed for up to three years and fined up to $7,500 for each charge.

For using an instrument to assault a maid, an offender can be jailed for up to 10½ years and fined or caned.

Nachammai cannot be caned as she is a woman.

The cases involving both Singaporeans have been adjourned for pre-trial conferences on Sept 21.

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