Hong Kong woman sentenced to 6 years in prison for abusing Indonesian maid

Hong Kong woman gets six years in prison for abusing Indonesian maid

A Hong Kong court sentenced a mother of two to six years in prison on Friday for abusing her Indonesian maid in a case that triggered outrage over its brutality.

Law Wan-tung was found guilty earlier this month on 18 charges, including assault, grievous bodily harm, criminal intimidation and failure to pay wages or give time off work to Erwiana Sulistyaningsih, 45.

She also had pleaded guilty to one other charge.

Law had no reaction as the sentence was handed down by District Court Judge Amanda Woodcock, who said "the seriousness of the charges and circumstances of the offenses means a lengthy prison time is appropriate."

In addition to prison, the judge also fined Law 15,000 Hong Kong dollars ($1,930).

The case highlighted the vulnerabilities of migrants working as domestic staff across Asia and the Middle East and strained ties with Indonesia, which supplies about half of the 330,000 foreign domestic helpers working in Hong Kong.

Sulistyaningsih's case came to light when graphic pictures of her injuries started circulating among Indonesians in Hong Kong, showing her face, hands and legs covered with scabs and lacerations, and blackened, peeling skin around her feet.

Sulistyaningsih worked for Law, who has two teenage children, for about eight months starting in June 2013.

The court heard testimony and saw evidence that Sulistyaningsih suffered broken teeth, scratches all over body and blows to her head at the hands of Law.

In another incident described during the trial, Law jammed a metal vacuum cleaner tube into Sulistyaningsih's mouth, causing her lip to bleed.

Law also forced Sulistyaningsih to stand naked in the bathroom during winter while she splashed water on her and pointed a fan at her, according to evidence presented in the case.

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