Woman originally charged with killing her husband gets one year for grievous hurt to hubby on provocation

A photograph of Mr Gordon Yeo (left) and Ms Vivien Teo in happier times.
A photograph of Mr Gordon Yeo (left) and Ms Vivien Teo in happier times.PHOTO: VIVIEN TEOH/FACEBOOK
A photograph of Mr Gordon Yeo (right) and Ms Vivien Teo in happier times.
A photograph of Mr Gordon Yeo (right) and Ms Vivien Teo in happier times.PHOTO: VIVIEN TEOH/FACEBOOK

A Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) senior human resource executive originally charged with killing her husband was sentenced to one year's jail on Monday (Oct 10) for causing grievous hurt on grave and sudden provocation.

Vivien Teoh Yi Wen's sentence was backdated to her remand on Sept 1 last year, which means the 27-year-old mother of one could be released.

She admitted to the amended charge of fatally stabbing her husband, Mr Gordon Yeo Han Tong, 33, in the chest with a knife at their flat in Senja Road in August last year.

Court documents say he had physically assaulted her and threatened to kill her and their daughter, as their marriage had broken down .


Officers removing the body of Mr Gordon Yeo at Block 636B Senja Road in Bukit Panjang on Aug 31, 2015. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

When it was all over, Mr Yeo's parents appeared upset. His 60-year-old mother wept, calling the one-year sentence "unfair'' and accusing Teoh's family members, who were speaking to her briefly through the door of the holding area, of being "inhumane''.

Deputy Public Prosecutors Eugene Lee and Krystle Chiang said on Aug 30 last year, Teoh had locked herself in the master bedroom with her 14-month-old daughter, and refused to let her husband in. The couple were sleeping in different rooms and she was making preparations for divorce.

When she emerged later to get milk for the baby, her husband confronted her in the kitchen and asked why she had locked the door. He tried to block her path but she managed to get free and return to the room.

Following her, he pushed his way into the room. They agreed to talk outside so as not to disturb the child.

Suspecting his wife of cheating on him, Mr Yeo, snatched her phone to read the messages. She screamed and he pinned her down and choked her while she swung her arms to get him to stop.

When he released her but refused to return the phone, Teoh kicked at him while he wrapped his arm around her neck in a chokehold. They fought over the phone, ending up in the kitchen toilet, where they continued to scrap, and he pushed her head against the mirror.

He badgered her for her passcode, which she eventually gave to him and he started to read through her messages.

Teoh went to get her child, who was crying. Carrying the baby into the kitchen, she went into the service yard, closed the folding doors and shouted: "Help, my husband is trying to kill me!"

Mr Yeo kicked the door open, causing the baby to fall and hit her head. He had a knife and ordered his wife to return to the room.

In the master bedroom, Mr Yeo started browsing through her phone and told her she had one last chance to confess to him.

Teoh admitted that she had been having an affair. Angered, he said he would kill her, their daughter and himself.

Subsequently, Teoh went to the kitchen to get ice for the child. She grabbed a knife and brandished it at her husband who told her to drop it. She refused and retreated to the master bedroom.

Mr Yeo also got a knife and went to the room. Husband and wife circled each other and when he kept on advancing, she lost her self-control and swung her knife wildly at him, inflicting wounds including one that penetrated his heart. Teoh then called her mother before leaving the flat with her daughter. She accidentally cut herself on the left upper inner thigh.

Mr Goh who had 11 stab wounds on the front torso and interscapular region, was pronounced dead at 1.19am by paramedics.

Teoh's lawyer Yusfiyanto Yatiman said his client was labouring under an acute stress reaction and adjustment disorder at the time.

He said she had been under emotional abuse from her husband for an extended period of time and that his sexual behaviour was perverse.

Calling it a sad and tragic case, District Judge Low Wee Ping said he hoped Teoh could find some solace and closure, to look after and bring up her daughter. Teoh, who was calm, responded several times with: "Thank you, Your Honour ."

Judge Low told her: "You will find that in time, this will come to pass, although, of course, it will be difficult, but I would wish you to look forward..''

Teoh could have been jailed for up to six years and/or fined up to $10,000 for the offence.