41YO Housewife Who Tortured & Starved Myanmar Helper to Death Sentenced to 30 Years’ Jail


I’m a firm believer in a rehabilitative criminal justice system, where sentences imposed to offenders should be the minimum needed to ensure they do not commit the same crimes again.

But it’s really satisfying when people really get what they deserve.

Housewife Who Killed Domestic Helper Sentenced to 30 Years’ Jail

Gaiyathiri Murugayan, the 41-year-old who rose to notoriety after brutally torturing her domestic helper from Myanmar to death, was sentenced to 30 years of imprisonment today (22 Jun), according to The Straits Times.

In his court judgment, High Court Judge See Kee Oon described Murugayan’s offenses as “appalling conduct” of “abject cruelty”.

He added it was “among the worst type of culpable homicide”, considering the persistent and intense suffering the helper, Piang Ngaih Don, was doomed to before her eventual death.

The judgment was delivered after Gaiyathiri pleaded guilty to a whopping 28 charges, while another 87 were considered in sentencing.

Yeah, that’s 115 charges in total. These range from hurt-related offenses for physical abuse to culpable homicide, for which she could have been sentenced to life imprisonment.


The judge withheld such a punishment, however, believing that Gaiyathiri’s psychiatric conditions may have contributed to the offenses. Judge See also noted she was not “pathologically violent”, considering her record with four previous domestic helpers.

This is similar to the defense counsel’s argument, but the prosecution argued that “a mental disorder is not a free pass”, reiterating the “cruel and heinous” nature of Gaiyathiri’s conduct.

Characterising it as “a shocking case without parallel”, the prosecutor believed “the violence is a function of the accused viewing the victim as a lesser human being”, and sought at least 27 years in jail if she was not sentenced to life.

What Did Gaiyathiri Do?

She and her husband, 42-year-old policeman Kevin Chelvam, installed surveillance cameras in their home in the last months of Piang’s life, giving torrents of evidence to their eventual conviction.

The footage documented Gaiyathiri abusing her domestic helper in a shocking variety of ways: pouring cold water on her, burning her with a heated iron, and shaking her violently, all the while malnourishing her by providing her with vastly inadequate amounts of food.

The night before her death, Piang was assaulted when Gaiyathiri and her mother, 62-year-old Prema S. Naraynasamy, decided she was tardy in her laundry. She was choked to death the next morning.

Chelvam and Prema have also been charged and are awaiting further court hearings.

Feature Image: Dan Henson / Shutterstock.com

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