Gaiyathiri Murugayan, the 41-year-old cop’s wife who tortured Piang Ngaih Don to death extensively over the period of ten months in 2015 has tried to get the the life imprisonment sentence requested by prosecutors downgraded through various legal moves.
She has changed lawyers, and as reported in The Straits Time, said “she wanted to submit a further plea for leniency and that he would be asking the prosecution to consider further reducing the culpable homicide charge.”
The judge had asked Gaiyathiri if she wanted to retract her guilty plea, but after what was reported as a “short standoff,” said that she did not want to change her plea.
Her lawyer, however, asked for time to file a further mitigation plea to support her case that her culpability was reduced.
He said the mitigation will focus on “stressors in her feeling an increase in tension due to her worry about the children’s health.”
The legal moves could be aimed to reducing her maximum sentence to only ten years in prison, if succesful.
Gaiyathiri plead guilty to a gruesome count of 28 charges pertaining to the harassment, abuse, and death of her live-in domestic worker, Piang, who died in 2016 due to her horrific treatment.
Piang left behind a 3-year-old son in Myanmar at the time of her death.
Who is Gaiyathiri Murugayan?
Alvinology previously reported that Piang Ngaih Don died a horrific death after being tied to window bars and starved for months. She was beaten, humiliated, tortured, and eventually killed when she was left to die despite injuries and unconsciousness.
Aside from Gaiyathiri, video evidence presented during the trial showed the other adult members of the household, such as the policeman and his mother, to have had hands in how badly the domestic worker was treated.
The abuse lasted ten months, and happened daily. Piang was not allowed enough food and rest, and did not have any privacy. She could not use the toilet or shower with the door to the bathroom closed.
Her meals usually comprised only bread soaked in water and cold leftovers from the family’s refrigerator. Usually, she could only eat late at night. She was only allowed to sleep five hours at night and was forced to wear face masks in 2016 because her employer thought she was unhygienic.
Footage showed in court depicted Piang being shaken violently like she was a rag doll. The CCTV cameras were only installed in the last month of her life, but it showed daily instances of horrific abuse.
Video evidence also included Gaiyathiri pouring cold water on the victim. Piang was slapped, pushed, punched, kicked, and stomped on while she was on the ground.
Gaiyathiri also used a plastic bottle or a metal cooking implement to hit Piang. The victim suffered burns from a heated iron, as well as choking and being pulled by the hair.
She eventually died after she was tied to window grills and not given food. Piang’s female employer pulled her hair so much that she had difficulty breathing, and eventually became unconscious. She was severely malnourished and eventually died in the hospital they were reluctant to take her to.
Gaiyathiri’s husband was also facing charges related to the removal of security cameras in a bid to conceal the abuse that his wife and her mother wrought on Piang.
The court was expected to come to a final sentence for Gaiyathiri in June.
Header image from The Straits Times.