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The Straits Times
May 11, 2023
Unhappy with her domestic helper’s work performance, a housewife repeatedly punched the Indian national and threw vomit at the victim’s face.
Monica Sharma, 37, who is also an Indian national, was sentenced to 16 weeks’ jail on Thursday after she pleaded guilty to an assault charge.
Her husband had employed the 25-year-old victim who started working in the family’s condominium apartment near River Valley Road on Jan 20, 2021.
The maid was cleaning some toys in the living room on April 10, 2021 when Sharma raised her voice as she was not pleased with how the task was performed.
She then punched the helper’s face three times. Sharma’s husband, who was nearby, tried to stop the assault and apologised to the victim for his wife’s behaviour.
Instead of stopping, Sharma used a toy to hit the victim’s head once.
According to court documents, she also threw vomitus at the younger woman, but the documents did not disclose the source.
Deputy Public Prosecutor R. Arvindren said that the maid suffered injuries including a swelling over her left eyebrow and a bruised nose.
The helper snapped pictures of her injuries and sent them to her agent in India, who then forwarded the photographs to some contacts in Singapore. The police were alerted the next day.
Officers went to the apartment and the maid was later seen at Changi General Hospital. She was discharged soon after.
Humiliated by her ordeal, she stopped working for Sharma’s household on April 11, 2021 and had a new employer about two months later.
She also suffered a loss of income of more than $950 and Sharma compensated her on Sept 26, 2022.
On Thursday, the DPP urged the court to sentence the housewife to at least five months’ jail, stressing that the abuse took place in the privacy of her home, making it difficult to detect.
He added: “The accused not only targeted the victim’s face, which is a vulnerable part of her body, but also used a toy to hit her.
“In addition, the accused threw (vomitus) at the face and head region of the victim which made the victim feel humiliated.”
Defence lawyer Amarjit Singh Sidhu pleaded for leniency.
He told the court that Sharma is prone to anxiety attacks and had attended a few sessions at The Centre for Psychology.
The lawyer from Amarjit Sidhu Law added: “Monica is currently undergoing therapy regularly and has expressed that she is committed to receiving therapy for her personal, marital and family well-being.
“This particular incident has scared her, and she realises how her mental health affects not only her, but the rest of her family members as well.”
Sharma’s bail was set at $10,000 on Thursday, and she is expected to surrender herself at the State Courts on May 23 to begin serving her sentence.