SINGAPORE: Suspecting that her husband was cheating on her, a woman attacked the man with four different golf clubs and a vegetable peeler, leaving him with a brain injury, facial fractures and an eye injury.
For this, Vietnamese national Phan Thi Ngoc Dung, 44, was jailed for two-and-a-half years on Thursday (Jul 18).
The court heard that Phan, who was unemployed and in Singapore on a long-term visit pass, married 51-year-old Singaporean Chong Zheng Ye in 2013.
She got into an argument with Chong at about 4.15am on Mar 29 this year in the bedroom of their Yishun flat, as she suspected that he was having an affair.
Phan tried to stab him in the back with the vegetable peeler, which broke.
She then turned to a bag of golf clubs and used one on Mr Chong, hitting him on the back.
He shouted for her to stop, but she took another club and hit him three times on his head, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Yen Seow.
After this, Phan continued her attack with five to six blows on his back with the club.
Her husband tried to flee to the living room, but Phan grabbed a third golf club and hit his left eye with it. She also hit the back of his head twice with a fourth club.
The commotion woke Phan’s daughter, who then stopped her mother from further attacks.
Mr Chong called the police, saying: “My wife wants to kill me, I got blood all over my face.”
HUSBAND SUFFERED MULTIPLE INJURIES, GIVEN OVER A MONTH’S LEAVE
Phan was arrested and her husband was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. He suffered a brain injury, an eye injury, lacerations on his scalp and face, a fractured jaw and other facial fractures.
He underwent plastic surgery for the lacerations and was given more than a month of medical leave.
Phan pleaded guilty to one charge of hitting her husband, knowing that it was likely to cause him grievous hurt. This charge had been downgraded from a more serious charge of causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapon.
The prosecutor asked for at least 30 months’ jail for the “vicious and bloody display of violence on the defenseless victim” that involved “an array of weapons”.
The victim offered no resistance, said the prosecutor, and did not retaliate.
“This bloody assault was persistent and stopped only when the daughter was woken up by the commotion,” he said, adding that the blows were directed at vulnerable parts of the victim’s body, including the head and eye.
The 30 months’ jail called for was a “substantial discount”, said the prosecutor, considering two mitigating factors. Apart from her plea of guilt, an Institute of Mental Health (IMH) report stated that her actions were greatly influenced by her delusional belief and paranoid state of mind.
SHE SUFFERED FROM PSYCHOTIC DISORDER
According to the IMH report, Phan suffered from a psychotic disorder, said pro-bono defence lawyer Noor Mohamed Marican.
She did not know she was mentally ill until she was referred to IMH after her arrest, said the lawyer. She has since given the assurance that she is taking her medication and will continue to do so.
“Her actions were greatly influenced by her delusional belief that her husband was having an affair, as well as a paranoid state of mind at the time,” said Mr Marican.
“This is a very sad case,” he said. “Even during observation (in remand) she was in a state of nakedness in the toilet, but when medication was given, she became better almost immediately.”
He said Phan was very sorry and hopes to be reunited with her daughter.
When asked by the judge if Phan had any social support in Singapore, Mr Marican said she had no one, but wishes to remain in the country for her daughter to continue studying.
Her husband had served her divorce papers through a lawyer while she was remanded, said Mr Marican. Phan rejected the papers.
“The victim has made it quite clear he wants to go his separate way after this incident,” said District Judge May Mesenas. “Hopefully your client will be able to take her medication. Once she’s in prison, she will be able to comply, but beyond that … whether she can remain in this country or not, that’s a separate issue altogether.”
Addressing Phan through an interpreter, the judge said: “Madam Phan, this is a most unfortunate incident.
“You need to continue with your medication, with your treatment whether in Singapore or in Vietnam. Hopefully you’ll have some kind of support upon your release from prison in Singapore or Vietnam if you return back there. You really need to carry on to take your medication because if not, there will be a lot of problems following that so you need to do that for yourself.”
Phan could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.