Dewi Sukowati (L) was handed an 18-year jail sentence after she pleaded guilty to culpable suicide not amounting to murder her employer Nancy Gan Wan Geok Singapore Police Force

The court was told that on 19 March, 2014, Dewi, who was then 18 years old, had taken a glass of water on a tray to Gan in her home. Gan however was upset that the glass was served on the wrong type of tray. She splashed the water onto Dewi's face and threw the tray on the floor.

When Dewi bent down to pick up the tray, the 69-year-old socialite snatched it from her and hit her on the back of the head. Gan also scolded the maid and threatened to cut her salary, the statement of facts read, according to the Straits Times.

Dewi then grabbed Gan by the hair and swung her head into the wall and she fell to the floor unconscious with her head bleeding profusely. Frightened at what she had done, Dewi then remained where she was for 10 minutes, before checking to see if her employer was still alive.

On finding a weak heartbeat, she became worried that Gan would call the police. It was then that she decided to drown Gan. She dragged the socialite by her hair across the floor, slamming her head on the edge of a ceramic tiled step, to the swimming pool.

She then pushed Gan into the swimming pool and then placed a pair of her sandals taken from the room into the pool in the hope that people will believe that Gan had committed suicide. She then cleaned up the blood and changed her clothes before going to a neighbour's house for help.

On the way, she bumped into a dispatch rider and asked him for help. Dewi had been working as a maid for Gan for only seven days when the murder took place.

Gan, a mother of two, was an accomplished pianist who studied at the Trinity College of London. She is also an accomplished porcelain artist, who was commissioned by the Singapore Airlines. She regularly donated her works to charity and conducted demonstrations for fund-raising efforts in the US, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia.

Gan was the ex-wife of former Hong Kong Legislative Council politician Hilton Cheong-leen.