A DOMESTIC helper may have accused her employer of raping her in a desperate bid to escape harsh working conditions, an Appeal Court heard yesterday. The father-of-four was freed yesterday after the Court of Appeal overturned his rape conviction and quashed his four-year prison sentence. The judges concluded that the original trial judge had failed in his summing-up to give sufficient weight to the maid's motives for trumping up the charge. 'Her conditions of employment were deplorable,' Mr Justice Mayo said. 'She had a strong motive to frame him.' He noted that the allegations allowed the maid to change employers and remain in Hong Kong until the end of the trial. Without the rape case, she would have been trapped in her in the first job by her limited visa. 'It would get her out of a job that was cruel and harsh,' Mr Justice Mayo observed. 'And this is exactly what happened.' The 36-year-old woman worked from 6 am to 11 pm seven days a week. She claimed her boss raped her on April 8 last year, just 10 weeks after she arrived in Hong Kong. The maid said the employer interrupted her while she was ironing and led her into his bedroom. Mr Justice Power, Mr Justice Bokhary and Mr Justice Mayo rejected suggestions that the case be retried.