Man punched maid's face for saying he ate a lot, allegedly smirking at him

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Man punched maid's face for saying he ate a lot, allegedly smirking at him

Warning: Readers may find some of the detailed descriptions in the content of this article disturbing.

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SINGAPORE — A man punched a maid’s face thrice, fracturing her eye socket, after the victim said that he ate a lot.

Suriya Krishnan, 25, was also upset that the maid had not cut him jelly in the way he wanted, and claimed that she had smirked at him while his mother scolded him.

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Suriya was sentenced to six months’ jail on Tuesday (8 February). He was also ordered to pay $8,500 in compensation to the victim for her loss of income and suffering – Suriya indicated he was unable to pay and will serve a month’s jail in default.

He pleaded guilty to a count of unintentionally causing grievous hurt while punching the maid. A charge of causing hurt by kicking the maid on the back of her head, left shoulder, and back of her thigh during the same incident was considered for his sentencing.

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The victim, a 27-year-old Myanmar national, was employed by Suriya’s sister and resided in the same house as Suriya.

Prior to the family celebrating the birthday of Suriya’s father on 29 May 2020, Suriya consumed a 750ml bottle of alcohol and became drunk.

Suriya’s mother later told the maid to cut a piece of jelly for her son. As the victim was doing so in the kitchen, Suriya entered and told her to prepare food for him. The maid then commented that Suriya ate a lot. She failed to cut the jelly in the manner that he wanted.

Suriya scolded the victim but his mother intervened and scolded him instead. While this was happening, the maid allegedly smirked at him, Suriya claimed.

After Suriya and his mother left the kitchen for a while, he returned and aimed three punches at the maid’s face. One punch landed under her right eye.

The maid covered her face and crouched in pain while Suriya’s family members restrained him.

The next day, the maid sought medical treatment and quit her employment. She was unemployed in June and July 2020 before she found re-employment elsewhere in August 2020.

After her admission to a hospital on 30 May, she was discharged on 6 June 2020 for outpatient treatment. She suffered from fractures to her eye socket, bruises to her face, and pain with eye movement.

The police received a report about the assault from the hospital the maid visited.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tay Zhi Jie said that the allegation of the maid smirking was not borne out by investigations. Nonetheless, it was immaterial, the prosecutor added.

The prosecution sought a compensation order of $8,500, consisting of $7,500 for the victim’s pain and suffering, and $1,000 for her loss in earnings for the months of June and July 2020.

Suriya’s lawyer A Revi Shanker said that his client was remorseful over what had happened. Asked by District Judge Toh Han Li how the alleged smirking justified Suriya’s violence, the lawyer replied that Suriya had been provoked.

The lawyer added that his client had not targeted the maid’s eyes and pointed out the harm was “moderate”.

Revi also said that his client was unable to pay the compensation and would serve the in-default jail term.

For unintentionally causing grievous hurt when causing hurt, Suriya could have been jailed up to five years, or fined up to $10,000, or both. For committing the offence on a domestic worker, he could have faced up to twice the maximum punishment.

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