An Indian woman in Singapore, a housewife, has been sentenced to 16 weeks in prison for punching her maid, also Indian, hitting the latter with a toy, and throwing vomit at her. The woman, 37-year-old Monica Sharma, pleaded guilty to the assault charge and is expected to present herself in court on May 23 to start serving her sentence. She is currently on bail on a bond of SGD10,000.
The domestic assault incident, for which Sharma was sentenced yesterday, took place on April 10, 2021, nearly three months after the 25-year-old maid began working at the Sharma household. They lived in an apartment near River Valley Road.
The maid was picking up some toys in the flat’s living room when Monica Sharma shouted at the maid, dissatisfied with her work. She then went over to the maid and punched the latter in the face three times.
Her husband saw the incident, tried to restrain his wife, and said sorry to the maid for this assault. But Monica Sharma again assaulted the maid, hitting her in the head with a hard toy. Reportedly, the court documents also say that the woman threw vomit at the maid, but it is not said where the vomit came from.
The assault left the maid with injuries, including swelling, on her face. She took photos of the injuries and sent the pictures to her employment agency in India. The agent then used contacts in Singapore to report this to the police.
The Singapore police visited the apartment, and took the maid to Changi General Hospital. Since her injuries were not serious, she was discharged quickly, but she immediately stopped working in the Sharma household. It took two months for her to find a new job. The gap of two months caused her a loss of income of nearly SGD1,000; for this, the Sharmas compensated her but only about 18 months after she left their employment.
The case went to trial, and yesterday, the deputy public prosecutor asked the court to sentence Monica Sharma to at least five months in jail, whereas the defence lawyer asked for a lenient punishment, citing that his client — the accused — suffered from anxiety attacks. The defence lawyer told the court that Monica Sharma was “scared” and realised how her mental health issues affected herself and her family. Nonetheless, the court gave her a sentence amounting to about four months in prison.