Singapore man threatens to slit wife’s throat, kill their baby. Gets 3 months’ jail

On May 14 last year, just over two months after the young couple got married, the 21-year-old woman was at home with her husband and their baby girl who was asleep in the bedroom.

The court heard that as her husband was speaking “very loudly” on the phone, his wife told him to “shut up”.

Assistant Public Prosecutor Chye Jer Yuan said that the man took a knife from the kitchen and put the blunt side of the blade to his wife’s throat, saying that he would cut her.

He later threw the knife to the floor, grabbed her by the throat and pushed her head towards the window grille behind the bed, before leaving the bedroom and returning the knife to the kitchen.

When his wife said that she wanted to take the baby to her mother-in-law’s house, the man asked her to “try doing that”, Chye said.

The woman then took the same knife from the kitchen and threatened to cut her arm if he refused to let her leave. She cut her arm after her husband said that he did not care.

Seeing this, the man grabbed the knife and threw it on the sofa. He stopped his wife when she tried to take the baby out of the house, saying, “I will kill the baby if you ever leave the house”.

The couple continued to argue in the kitchen, where the man slapped his wife twice in the face. She then ran to her mother-in-law’s nearby home.

The man’s mother called the police soon after, reporting that her son had abused his wife and that the man had refused to give their child to the mother.

[It was a] momentary lapse of judgment

Jeyabal Athavan , defence lawyer

Paramedics deployed to the scene made a check on the baby girl and observed that her vital signs were normal and that she had no visible injuries, before handing the baby over to the man’s mother.

The man’s wife was also assessed by the paramedics, who found that she had slight swelling on her right temple and slightly below her eye, and four cuts on her forearm.

She was later escorted to the Institute of Mental Health for an assessment of her mental state before being released.

The man, who had a graze on his finger and arm, was arrested.

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He also pleaded guilty to a charge under the Computer Misuse Act for disclosing his Singpass details over a separate incident. Three other similar charges were taken into consideration for his sentencing. Singpass is a digital identity that allows Singapore citizens and residents to access government, and some businesses’, services.

The prosecution sought a sentence of between two and three months’ jail for the man’s offences.

The man’s lawyer, Jeyabal Athavan from RLC Law Corporation, sought a lighter sentence on the basis that the man’s attack on his wife was “completely out of character” and constituted a “momentary lapse of judgment”.

Jeyabal added that his client had been “enraged” and “provoked” by his wife and placed the blunt end of the knife at her throat in the “heat of the moment”.

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He argued that the man had acted in anger after being “shocked and completely embarrassed” by his wife shouting vulgarities at him while he was on a video call with his brother.

As for the charge of disclosing his Singpass details, Jeyabal said that his client was unaware that there were any legal ramifications to his actions.

In sentencing, District Judge Eddy Tham said that domestic violence was a “serious offence” that adversely affects a couple’s children.

The judge accepted that the man’s actions were done in the “spur of the moment”, but said that a deterrent sentence was needed to emphasise the need for spouses to exercise better control during times of conflict and not resort to violence.

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The judge also said that lack of knowledge is “no excuse” for disclosing Singpass details, since this matter has been “widely and repeatedly publicised by the authorities” for how such actions could help scammers.

Anyone who commits criminal intimidation can be jailed for up to two years, receive a fine or both punishments.

For voluntarily cause hurt, an offender can be jailed for up to three years or be fined up to S$5,000 (US$3,735), or receive both punishments.

As the man committed these offences against someone with whom he is in a close relationship, he could have received up to twice the maximum punishment for both offences.

For disclosing his Singpass details, the man could have been jailed for up to three years or been given a fine up to S$10,000, or both.

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