A domestic helper whose hands were permanently scarred after her employer branded her with a hot iron was awarded $26,510 in compensation in the District Court yesterday. Judge Gerard Muttrie ruled Achacoso Warly Cabaneros, 33, was entitled to claim the compensation from Liu Man-kuen, 36, who burnt the back of her hands on February 25, 2000. The sum included the loss of earnings and medical expenses. In May 2000, Liu was jailed for 18 months after being found guilty in Eastern Court of inflicting grievous bodily harm on Ms Cabaneros at her Tai Hang Road apartment in Causeway Bay. The assault came just weeks after Ms Cabaneros came to Hong Kong for the first time to work as a domestic helper. She was attacked for scorching a piece of clothing. The court heard yesterday the maid's scars became raised, thickened and 'hyper-pigmented' in places but had improved remarkably since. Judge Muttrie awarded the sum after taking into account the victim had lost 5 per cent in earning capacity and was disabled by the scars. Ms Cabaneros arrived in January from the Philippines, hoping to follow in the footsteps of her sister and aunt who were already domestic helpers in Hong Kong, and to earn money to support her family in Mindanao. She started work for Liu on January 26, 2000. The judge heard yesterday she did not find another job until October 2001.