Mother Gets 14 Years’ Jail For Abusing Myanmar Helper With Her Daughter
In 2016, one of the most heinous abuses on a helper was uncovered when Myanmar national Piang Ngaih Don died of a brain injury after repeated assaults by 64-year-old Prema S Naraynasamy and her daughter.
Her acts of abuse included hitting the 24-year-old helper, grabbing her by the neck, pulling her up by her hair, and watching her use the toilet.
Back in November, Prema pleaded guilty to 48 charges. Most of the charges are of voluntarily causing hurt to the helper.
On Monday (9 Jan), she was sentenced to 14 years’ jail, reported Channel NewsAsia (CNA).
Mother and daughter assaulted helper repeatedly
24-year-old Piang Ngaih Don died from a brain injury with severe blunt trauma to her neck on 16 Jul 2016. This came after 14 months of enduring continuous abuse.
She was only 24kg when she passed, having been repeatedly punched, stamped on, and starved.
Days before her death, she was tied to a window grille at night. She was assaulted when she tried to rummage for food from the bin.
According to CNA, the assault that led to her death occurred on the night of 25 Jul 2016 into the following day.
At about 11.40pm, Prema’s daughter Gaiyathiri Murugayan felt that the helper was doing laundry too slowly and assaulted her.
After she was hit with a detergent bottle, she fell backwards, grew disoriented, and could not stand up.
Gaiyathiri then asked her mum over, and they both assaulted Ms Piang, splashing water on her.
Prema dragged her to the bedroom, where she punched and strangled her. Gaiyathiri also kicked the victim in her stomach.
Without being given any dinner, the helper’s wrist was tied to the window grille, and she was left on the floor in wet clothes. Ms Piang never woke up again.
The mother-daughter pair later called a doctor, lying about what had happened. They were subsequently arrested.
Found with a high level of culpability
In court, the prosecution said this was one of the worst causes of helper abuse in Singapore’s history.
He called Prema’s actions “shocking and heinous” and sought a jail term of 14 to 16 years.
Prema was deemed to have an “exceptionally high level of culpability”, reported CNA.
He added that while Prema’s daughter had a mental condition, Prema did not.
She did not stop her daughter from abusing the victim and, instead, actively participated in the abuse.
In 2021, her daughter Gaiyathiri was sentenced to 30 years in jail for the abuse.
In response, the defence said having already spent six years and six months in remand, Prema knows that she has done something wrong.
He said she is “weighed down by the guilt”, and her physical health has deteriorated considerably.
Sentenced to 14 years’ jail
Prema previously pleaded guilty to 48 charges of abusing the victim. She is now claiming trial for one charge of causing evidence to disappear.
On Monday (9 Jan), the judge sentenced Prema to 14 years’ jail.
According to The Straits Times (ST), the 64-year-old, who was present in court, did not react to the sentencing. Prema subsequently requested to make a call home.
Her jail sentence will be backdated to her arrest date, 26 Jul 2016.
Gaiyathiri’s former husband, 43-year-old Kevin Chelvam, also faces multiple charges in the abuse of Ms Piang. His case is currently pending before the courts.
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