Woman on trial after domestic worker splashed with hot liquid
Maid tells court that she argued with her employer because the woman blamed her for her husband's death, the night before she started work
A 78-year-old woman faced a charge of wounding with intent in the District Court on Tuesday after allegedly splashing hot water on a newly-hired Indonesian domestic worker.
Defendant Gee Hoo Giok, an Indonesian Chinese woman who needed a stick and help from family members while walking, pleaded not guilty to one count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and one count of breaching the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance, Apple Daily reported.
Indonesian domestic worker Ismiati, 29, told the court she was hired via an employment agency on January 24 last year and had felt happy that her employer knew how to speak Indonesian.
Ismiati reported for duty on March 27 but was told that her employer’s husband had passed away the night before. Indeed, Gee allegedly said a number of times that her husband would not have died if Ismiati had started work earlier.
On her second day, Ismiati went with Gee to exercise at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island. She took Gee’s jacket as requested, but Gee accused her of being “stupid” for not bringing water.
On the third day, when Ismiati was cooking in the kitchen Gee accused her cooking too slow. Again, Gee told Ismiati that she was hired to take care of her husband.
Ismiati admitted that she shouted to Gee that she could not have started work earlier because she had to obtain a visa, and that Gee’s husband was going to die anyway.
Suddenly, Ismiati felt pain on her back and hot water all over her back. She turned and saw Gee standing behind her. She believed that Gee had thrown hot water onto her.
She asked Gee why she splashed her with hot water but the employer did not respond – and simply used a towel to dry the floor. Ismiati called the employment agency.
Gee’s daughter reported the case to police while Ismiati was sent to hospital for medical treatment. She was found to have moderate burns with blisters on her back.
A day after the drama Ismiati said she did not want to call in the police – she just wanted to go back to Indonesia as soon as possible. She later received HK$2,800 (US$357) for the cost of a flight and paid through the Labor Department, Oriental Daily reported.
But the defense lawyer told the court that Ismiati later went to the Labor Department and requested HK$150,000 in compensation. Ismiati said she forgot the details.
Meanwhile, the court was told that Ismiati arrived in Hong Kong on January 13 and had been employed by a couple. But she left that place on her first day as she accused the couple of throwing her a glass bottle. She had reported the case to the Indonesian consulate.
The trial was continuing on Wednesday.