Longer jail terms for starv­ing their maid

The New Paper - - NEWS -

Free­lance trader and wife will serve 10 months each af­ter pros­e­cu­tion ap­peals

He also gave some weight to the $20,000 com­pen­sa­tion the cou­ple had paid to the maid, though he noted it was done in part to avoid a harsher sen­tence af­ter they had pleaded guilty.

They had ini­tially of­fered $10,000, but the maid asked for $20,000, the court heard.

Madam Gaw­idan, now 42, has re­turned to the Philip­pines.

CJ Menon al­lowed the cou­ple to stag­ger their sen­tences in the in­ter­est of mak­ing ac­cept­able ar­range­ments for their three chil­dren. Chong will serve her sen­tence first, with Lim go­ing to jail a week af­ter she is re­leased.

While work­ing for them, Madam Gaw­idan was given two meals a day, largely made up of plain white bread, tap wa­ter when she asked for a drink, and in­stant noo­dles.

Chong did not al­low her to buy food or eat any other food at home. Madam Gaw­idan lost 40 per cent of her body weight, stopped men­stru­at­ing and suf­fered hair loss.

She fled from the cou­ple’s eighth-storey apart­ment at The Boule­vard Res­i­dence in Cus­ca­den Walk on April 19, 2014.

In March last year, Lim pleaded guilty to fail­ing to pro­vide Madam Gaw­idan with ad­e­quate food. Chong pleaded guilty to abet­ting his of­fence un­der the Em­ploy­ment of For­eign Man­power Act.

OB­SES­SIVE-COM­PUL­SIVE DIS­OR­DER

In mit­i­ga­tion, the de­fence ar­gued that Chong’s ob­ses­sive­com­pul­sive dis­or­der led to the acts, but the trial judge said her men­tal con­di­tion had no link to the of­fence.

The Man­power Min­istry said the cou­ple have been per­ma­nently barred from hir­ing maids.

seli­nal@sph.com.sg

ST FILE PHOTO

CJ Menon al­lowed Chong Sui Foon and Lim Choon Hong to stag­ger their sen­tences so as to make ac­cept­able ar­range­ments for their three chil­dren.

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