A 38-year-old truck driver, who suspected his wife was having an affair and repeatedly stabbed her, was yesterday jailed for nine years for killing her after he pleaded guilty to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
After killing Madam Wang Xueyan, 37, in his rented room in Tampines in December 2014, Zheng Xianghua went up a neighbouring block of flats, where he stabbed himself in the chest and slashed his neck.
He then sat on the parapet on the ninth floor and was eventually coaxed down by police officers.
The High Court heard yesterday that the two Chinese nationals married in China in 2012 and later moved here separately for work.
But their relationship deteriorated. Zheng became jealous after Madam Wang started putting on make-up and getting compliments from other men. Her texting habits also led him to suspect she was having an affair.
Around November 2014, the couple, who previously shared a rented room in Woodlands, started living apart. She moved to Marsiling Drive while he lived at Block 505, Tampines Central 1. This was so that they could be near their workplaces.
About 10 days before the stabbing on Dec 16, Zheng got his wife's roommate to spy on her. The roommate reported that Madam Wang had secretly bought a phone and used it to contact her supervisor.
On Dec 14, Zheng bought a knife intending to use it to confront his wife's supervisor. On Dec 16, he moved into his new place, a storeroom sublet out by the tenant of a flat in Block 503.
Madam Wang spent the night there. But after sex, a quarrel broke out. Zheng took the knife from his luggage and stabbed Madam Wang repeatedly when she said she would no longer live with him.
When he realised she was covered with blood, Zheng left with the knife wrapped in a towel and made his way to the block where he previously lived, intending to kill himself.
The tenant called the police at about 11.45pm. Madam Wang was pronounced dead at 12.10am.
At 1.05am, police found Zheng at a staircase landing at Block 505. He climbed on the parapet but eventually came down at 3am.
He was arrested and taken to hospital. The knife, which had a 20cm blade, was found at the foot of the block. Madam Wang suffered 14 stab wounds on her chest and back.
A government psychiatrist found that Zheng suffered from pathological jealousy and severe depression, which reduced his mental responsibility for his actions.
Zheng's lawyer, Mr Ng Shi Yang, asked for not more than nine years' jail. He said Zheng suspected his wife was unfaithful after noticing behaviour such as Madam Wang using her tablet to translate words such as "lover" into English. Zheng also believed that she deleted entries from her phone as she had something to hide.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Si En argued that Zheng unilaterally escalated a verbal row into a physical assault on his unarmed wife.