Sri Lankan maid gets 10 years in jail for killing Indian lover

A Sri Lankan maid working in Singapore was today jailed for 10 years for killing her Indian lover in 2009.

The High Court heard that 34-year old Tharmalingam Puwaneswary, a Sri Lankan national struck her 32-year old lover Murugaiyan Selvam, a permanent resident of Singapore from India, on the head with an improvised dumb-bell weighing more than 5 kg.

Murugaiyan would frequently pick Tharmalingam up from her employers' home in the middle class housing estate of Serangoon Garden after 10 pm, according to court documents.

The Court also heard that Tharmalingam would also lend money as well as buy clothes and jewellery for Murugaiyan, who worked as a supervisor, Channel News Asia reported.

But on the night of the incident in December 2009, an argument broke out between the couple in Murugaiyan's room, when he asked Tharmalingam to hand over her employers' chequebook so he could forge a cheque and encash it at the bank.
Tharmalingam then accused him of exploiting her for money and sex.

Murugaiyan slapped her and later fell asleep after the argument.

Tharmalingam then noticed an improvised dumb-bell outside his room, and used it to hit Murugaiyan on the head twice.

She also used a sharp object to stab his groin area before leaving the room.

Tharmalingam, who is married with two children back home, had suffered physical abuse by her husband, and continued to have a difficult relationship with him even while working in Singapore, defence lawyers said in mitigation.

Noting that the act was not premeditated, they added that Murugaiyan had used her for money and estimated that Tharmalingam had given him some 6,000 Singapore dollars of her own money.

There were four other charges on Tharmalingam, involving theft and abetting forgery for the purpose of cheating, which were taken into consideration, the report said.

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