Maid on trial for murdering employer’s mother-in-law claims she was abused

SINGAPORE – A maid who was allegedly abused by her employer’s mother-in-law is said to have grabbed a knife from the kitchen and stabbed the woman 26 times, thereby killing her.

Zin Mar Nwe, 26, a Myanmar national, was charged with the murder of the 70-year-old woman around noon on June 25, 2018.

She later loitered in the west of Singapore before going back to the maid agency she was from and was arrested there.

The trial for the murder began on Tuesday (Nov 9), with the investigating officer taking the stand as the first witness.

Zin Mar Nwe arrived in Singapore in January 2018 and began working for the family on May 10 that year.

Her employer’s mother-in-law arrived from India on May 26 that year for a month-long stay with the family.

The deceased, her family members and incident location cannot be identified due to a gag order.

The maid and the woman were alone in the flat at about 11.30am on June 25, 2018.

At the time, the elderly woman was lying on the sofa in the living room watching television.

Zin Mar Nwe then grabbed a knife from the kitchen and stabbed the woman multiple times, killing her.

She washed the knife in the kitchen and left it there before changing clothes and leaving the unit with some cash she took from the flat.

Security camera footage showed she went to the maid agency at Choa Chu Kang at about 12.40pm and tried to get her passport.

But she left after the staff said they were going to call her employer.

The maid went around Singapore, including Jurong East and Bukit Merah, before taking a taxi back to the maid agency at around 5.30pm.

She was arrested there after the staff alerted the police of her return.

On Tuesday, the court was told Zin Mar Nwe claimed she was abused by the victim, who allegedly hit her on her back and head, sometimes using crockery.

She also recounted an incident to the police when the victim had allegedly kicked her in the chest while she was cutting the older woman’s toenails.

The purported trigger point was when the victim told the maid that she would be sent back to the agent the next day.

Zin Mar Nwe had told the police she felt very angry and her mind went blank as she grabbed the knife.

Forensics later found her blood at the scene.

The trial is on a break and expected to resume on Tuesday afternoon.

If convicted of murder, the maid faces the death penalty or life imprisonment.