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    Woman jailed for assaulting domestic helper, trying to delete CCTV footage

    ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES – Enraged when her domestic helper said she wanted to quit, the woman rained blows on the victim’s head and body while she sobbed on the floor.

    After the assault, knowing that the Myanmar national would make a police report, Chinese national Bai Yihong, 34, told her to think about her children and that if things blew up, she would not be allowed work in Singapore.

    The victim’s name was redacted in court documents.

    Bai, who was unemployed at the time and later diagnosed with a major depressive episode and schizophrenia, was jailed for eight months and six weeks yesterday for the assault and for trying to get her in-laws to delete CCTV footage of the incident.

    Deputy Public Prosecutor Claire Poh told the court that this was not Bai’s first assault on the 31-year-old, who worked for the family in their Hougang flat for about a year from November 2019.

    On one occasion, Bai shoved her into a storeroom causing her to hit her head against the wall after she was unhappy with the way the helper did laundry.

    The abuse culminated on November 6, 2020, after the maid stayed the night at Bai’s in-law’s flat in the same block as she felt sick, and Bai was afraid she would infect her infant son.

    Bai’s husband Chua Bee Seng, her mother Hai Yulan, then 57, Chua’s parents, Bai’s infant son and the helper were in the in-law’s living room when Bai went up to the flat at about 9.20am to get the helper who did not want to leave the flat.

    She told Bai she wanted to quit. When the maid started crying, Bai shouted at and threatened her, saying she would accuse her of theft. Bai tried to drag her out of the flat by her arm while she was seated.

    While Hai told Bai to leave initially, she later joined Bai in pulling the victim’s arm to drag her out of the flat. The maid resisted and Bai assaulted her again including kicking and punching her head repeatedly.

    Bai threatened to beat the helper to death and continued her assault on the sobbing woman despite Hai trying to push her away and Chua’s mother trying to restrain her.

    Chua then raised his voice and told her to stop.

    After the assault, the victim’s lips were bleeding. Bai also thought of a cover-up story to explain to the agent and told Chua to call his sisters to delete the CCTV footage of the incident.

    The agent arrived at about 11am that day and took the victim to a hospital where she was found to have a muscle strain on her back, facial contusion, lip laceration, and bruises on her left arm.

    The helper lodged a police report later that day.

    Hai was fined SGD3,000 in December last year for her involvement.

    The DPP said the victim is now fearful of loud noises and has a scar over her lower lip. She was out of work for a month and had to pay two months’ salary as agent’s fees to get another employer.

    Bai paid SGD5,580 in restitution.

    Her lawyers Kevin Liew and Gloria James told the court that an Institute of Mental Health report found that she was having a major depressive episode which had a contributory link to her offences. However, Liew noted that the episode did not affect her judgement severely.

    They also told the court that Chua has since passed away.

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