71-year-old retiree jailed for attacks that broke wife's ribs, wrist but she forgives him

SINGAPORE - A 76-year-old woman saw her husband jailed on Tuesday (March 12) for a campaign of physical abuse which left her with injuries including broken ribs and a broken wrist.

A court heard how retiree Ong Kian Chiang punched Madam Tan Poh Choo repeatedly, pushed her over and even threatened to kill her.

Yet after a hearing in which 71-year-old Ong was sentenced to two years and 10 months' jail, his wife told reporters: "We have been married for more than 40 years; I'm his wife, and he's my husband. I forgive him."

Ong had pleaded guilty to two charges of causing grievous hurt, one of criminal intimidation and another of breaching the personal protection order which his wife took out against him in 2014.

On Aug 28 last year, the police were called to help Madam Tan after Ong locked her out of their home.

The court heard that Madam Tan, also known as Tan Poh Eng, had argued with Ong as he refused to go for his medical check-up and had confiscated her phone.

Police had to break down the door to settle the dispute but Deputy Public Prosecutor Li Yihong said that as Madam Tan walked into the unit, Ong told her: "Will kill you when the Police leave."

On Oct 16 last year, Ong approached her from behind and pushed her over.

"The victim was in pain and could not get up from the floor," said DPP Li. "The accused saw the victim on the floor but did not provide her with any assistance. The accused then went back to his bed to sleep."

Later a neighbour who called Madam Tan arrived to find her on the toilet floor and rang for an ambulance. She was found to have suffered broken ribs.

Three days later, Ong woke his wife at 2am and demanded money from her. When she told him she had none to give him, he punched her repeatedly, only stopping when she shouted in pain, said DPP Li.

Madam Tan later visited a nearby polyclinic, where she was found to have suffered a broken wrist.

Ong was unrepresented in court and pleaded for leniency from District Judge Eddy Tham.

But Judge Tham said Ong's actions had serious consequences, and added that a fall at Madam Tan's age could cause serious injuries. He also advised Madam Tan to take up an exclusion order for her own safety.