Cleaner jailed six months for pouring hot water on ex-wife

Ms Wendy Tan Li San suffered second-degree burns after her former husband poured hot water on her.
Ms Wendy Tan Li San suffered second-degree burns after her former husband poured hot water on her.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

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.

Ms Wendy Tan Li San, 48, 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 yesterday.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Rimplejit Kaur said Ms Tan had visited Ho at his Bukit Merah View flat around 10pm on Feb 21.

They started talking about their relationship and were 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.

  • 14%

  • Percentage of Ms Wendy Tan's total body surface area that had second-degree burns after hot water was poured over her body.

Police officers arrived at the unit 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, who was present in court yesterday, 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."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2018, with the headline 'Cleaner jailed six months for pouring hot water on ex-wife'. Print Edition | Subscribe