Cleaner jailed after pouring hot water on former wife following dispute over noisy fan

Ms Wendy Tan Li San suffered second-degree burns as a result of the attack for which her former husband Ho Yew Seng was jailed for six months.
Ms Wendy Tan Li San suffered second-degree burns as a result of the attack for which her former husband Ho Yew Seng was jailed for six months.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A part-time cleaner quarrelled with his former wife over a noisy fan and poured hot water on her when she tried to let in police officers who had shown up at the door.

The woman, Ms Wendy Tan Li San, had managed to alert her mother shortly after the quarrel broke out and she, in turn, had called the police, the court heard.

Ms Tan suffered second-degree burns as a result of the attack for which her former husband, Ho Yew Seng, 48, was jailed for six months on Wednesday (June 20).

Deputy Public Prosecutor Rimplejit Kaur said that Ms Tan had visited Ho at his Bukit Merah View flat at around 10pm on Feb 21. They started talking about their relationship and drinking alcohol.

About four hours later, Ms Tan switched off the fan in the living room as it was noisy.

This annoyed Ho, who went to the kitchen to boil some water in an electric kettle and threatened to pour it on Ms Tan. Alarmed, she called her mother for help.

Police officers arrived at the unit at around 3am and knocked on the door.

DPP Kaur told District Judge Mathew Joseph: "The victim then walked towards the main door of the unit as the accused had refused to open the door for the police officers.

"Angered by the victim's conduct, he took the electric kettle and poured hot water over the victim's face and body. The victim screamed in pain."

Ms Tan was rushed to the Singapore General Hospital where she was found to have suffered second-degree burns over 14 per cent of her total body surface area. She was discharged on Feb 27. By March 2, the wounds had mostly healed.

DPP Kaur urged the court to sentence Ho to at least six months' jail, stressing that he was jailed for six years with six strokes of the cane in 1991 for committing culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Checks revealed that he was one of six secret society members who killed a rival gang member in a fight in 1988.

Ms Tan, 48, who was present in court on Wednesday, told reporters in Mandarin that her skin had healed and that she now lives with her mother.

She added: "I have forgiven my former husband and would like to maintain a cordial relationship with him."