8 months' jail for woman who attacked mother-in-law with chopper

SINGAPORE - A former health associate flew into a rage after her mother-in-law doubted her marital fidelity and she attacked the elderly woman with a chopper.

Nurul Natasha Sazali, 23, was sentenced on Friday (May 24) to eight months' jail for repeatedly slashing Madam Fatimah Kalanthar Mastan, 68, in a Bukit Batok flat on Dec 15 last year.

Madam Fatimah suffered injuries that included wounds on her back and left forearm. She was warded for two days and given hospitalisation leave until Dec 31 that year.

Despite this, she has since forgiven her daughter-in-law, the court heard.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Jun Chong quoted a letter by Madam Fatimah, in which she wrote that she has fully recovered and "does not have any anger" towards her daughter-in-law.

Nurul is now out on bail of $15,000 and will begin serving her sentence on June 7. She is still married to Madam Fatimah's son Ahmad Haji Shahrul Hameed, 25, who agreed to be her bailor.

The court heard that at around 10.30pm on Dec 15 last year, Mr Ahmad asked his mother to talk to his wife, whom he suspected of having an affair with another man. Court documents did not state if Nurul, who is jobless, had indeed been unfaithful to her husband.

The DPP told District Judge Ong Chin Rhu that while Nurul was giving Madam Fatimah a massage in the room, her mother-in-law confronted her. She asked Nurul if her son was "not good enough for her" and if "one husband was not enough for her".

Madam Fatimah then left her room to go to the living room. Nurul, enraged by her words, followed her and punched her a few times in the face, causing her lip to bleed.

After that, Nurul went to the kitchen and took a chopper with a 17cm-long blade. She used it to slash her mother-in-law.

"The victim tried to take the chopper away from the accused while the accused continued to slash at her. The victim managed to grab hold of the chopper eventually and tossed it aside," said DPP Ng.

Madam Fatimah ran out of the flat and Mr Ahmad followed her before he alerted the police.

She was taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital where she was warded until Dec 18 last year. She did not suffer any permanent injuries, the court heard.

Defence lawyer Aw Sze Min, who was assigned to the case under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, pleaded for Nurul to be jailed for six months, stressing that she has been accepted back into the family.

For assaulting Madam Fatimah with the chopper, she could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.

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