6 years' jail for slashing ex-wife and her sister

Attack took place in full view of divorced couple's daughter, who was then six years old

In full view of his then six-year-old daughter, a man slashed his ex-wife and her sister when they went to his residence to drop off the child for the day. He had been infuriated with his ex-wife, a senior sales director, for calling the police on him after he punched her the day before, the High Court heard.

He first attacked the sister, as she was in his way, before turning the knife on his former spouse, shouting "you die, you die" as he repeatedly slashed her.

Yesterday the 47-year-old private-hire driver was sentenced to six years' jail after pleading guilty to a charge of attempted culpable homicide for the attack on his 47-year-old wife, and a charge of causing grievous hurt with a weapon for the attack on her older sister, 51.

The incident happened in the loading bay of the man's block of flats. His ex-wife can be heard screaming for more than a minute during the attack in a video footage from the dash cam of her car that was played in court.

The couple, who cannot be named to protect the identity of their daughter, married in 2007 and finalised their divorce in 2013. They shared custody of the girl, now eight years old. On weekdays, her mother would drop her off at her father's flat in the mornings and pick her up after work.

In February 2015, the woman obtained a personal protection order (PPO) to restrain the accused from acts of violence against her. He also obtained a PPO against her.

The accused's ex-wife being tended to by ambulance staff as she lay on the ground after the slashing in October 2016.
The accused's ex-wife being tended to by ambulance staff as she lay on the ground after the slashing in October 2016. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO READER

On Oct 11, 2016, the woman drove to the man's block to hand their daughter over to him on the ground floor, which was a term of their arrangement. When he did not reply to her text messages, she went up to the man's flat and handed the girl to his mother.

At this point, the man appeared and asked her why she was at his home. She replied she was late for a meeting, and as she walked away, he punched her in the face. She called the police, who arrested the man for breaching the PPO. He was released from custody that night.

The next morning, the woman's older sister accompanied her to drop off the girl. The man, blaming his ex-wife for his detention, took a kitchen knife with a 21.5cm-long blade before heading down.

As the sister opened the passenger door for her niece, the man brandished the knife near her neck. He slashed her hand when she held it out to block the knife.

When his ex-wife rushed to help her sister, the man pushed her to the ground and swung the knife at her. The man's mother, hearing the screams, took the child away.

The ex-wife underwent emergency surgery and was warded for 16 days, with 61 days' hospitalisation leave. She is still weaker in her dominant hand and the condition is likely to be permanent. She was also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The man stopped his assault only after passers-by restrained him.

The ex-wife underwent emergency surgery and was warded for 16 days, with 61 days' hospitalisation leave. She is still weaker in her dominant hand and the condition is likely to be permanent. She was also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Her sister suffered nerve damage to her finger.

The accused was diagnosed as suffering from persistent depressive disorder at the time.

Seeking at least six years' jail, Deputy Public Prosecutor Christina Koh said: "Regardless of whatever grievance the accused held against (his ex-wife)... there is absolutely no excuse in inflicting violence... especially in front of their young daughter."

 

Lawyer Ramesh Tiwary said the man was sorry for what he had done and is now a changed man after becoming a devout Christian in prison. He has also compensated the women more than $3,500 for their medical bills.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 09, 2019, with the headline '6 years' jail for slashing ex-wife and her sister'. Print Edition | Subscribe