February 25, 2021

Singaporean Woman Pleads Guilty to Killing Domestic Worker

The wife of a police officer in Singapore has admitted to starving, torturing and killing her domestic worker from Myanmar.

Appearing in a state court on Tuesday, 23 February, Gaiyathiri Murugayan – wife of Staff Sergeant Kelvin Chelvam – pleaded guilty to 28 charges, including culpable homicide against the late Piang Ngaih Don.

According to reports, Piang began working for Murugayan and Chelvam in May 2015. From October onwards, she was subjected to brutal abuse at the hands of her employers – this included being burned with a clothes iron, tied to a window grille while sleeping on the floor, and eating bread soaked in water, among other things.

The 24-year-old employee passed away on 26 July 2016. An autopsy report concluded that she died from oxygen deprivation to her brain after being repeatedly choked.

Murugayan and her mother, Prema Naraynasamy – who was reportedly complicit in abusing Piang – were swiftly arrested. Chelvam, also facing similar charges, was suspended from the police force a month later.

If found guilty, Murugayan could face life in prison. A decision on her sentencing will be made at a later date.

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