SINGAPORE - Distraught that his married girlfriend was leaving him for good, a 22-year-old man went into a frenzy.
He smothered her with a pillow and choked her, tried to stuff her into a suitcase when she fell unconscious, and then poured air freshener into her mouth. Finally, he raped her while she was semi-conscious, and cut her with a knife.
Yesterday, Kenneth Aw Boon Hao, now 24, was jailed for seven years and ordered to be caned six strokes after he pleaded guilty in the High Court to raping and poisoning the victim. Three other charges, of strangling and suffocating her, hurting her with a knife and attempted suicide, were taken into consideration.
In sentencing, Justice Tay Yong Kwang took into account Aw's age, that he and the victim had a sexual relationship up to a day before the offences, and that he had suffered an adjustment disorder after the break-up.
The court heard that the relationship began after Aw met the Malaysian woman, who has a child, in October 2012 when she was a sales assistant in a Johor Baru shopping centre.
The following month, her husband found out about the affair, and the marriage deteriorated.
She began coming to Singapore frequently, staying at the flat in Jurong that Aw shared with his parents. Before long, she had moved in, living with Aw in his room from November 2012 to June 2013.
But on June 9, she went back to her husband. Aw, however, continued to contact her.
On June 21, she agreed to see him after he threatened to come for her in Johor Baru, and went to his home the next day.
Two days later, when she tried to leave, Aw was unable to accept it. He pinned her down on the bed, pressed a pillow over her mouth and choked her with his other hand, to make her feel his "pain".
He stopped choking her only when he realised she was gasping for breath and her eyes were closed. Failing to rouse her, he thought he had killed her and called his friends for help.
In his panic, he tried to stuff her into a suitcase but she did not fit into either of the two he had.
Aw then decided to die with her. He squeezed air freshener liquid into her mouth, which made her throw up. To clean up, he took off her stained clothing, but became aroused and raped her.
After the rape, he took a utility knife and cut her wrist and belly, even when she cried out in pain. He then lay down next to her, cut his own wrists, drank the air freshener and took some pills.
Some time later, the friends he had called earlier rang the doorbell and he left with them.
Shortly after, the woman left the flat and went back to Johor Baru. She returned to Singapore the next day to make a police report. A medical examination found that she was pregnant, although the paternity of the child remains unknown.