Jobless man killed wife before leaping to his death

Police officers and undertakers removing one of the bodies in the early morning of Oct 23 last year. State Coroner Marvin Bay yesterday said Mr Wang's stabbing of his wife appeared to be an impulsive and disorganised act.
Police officers and undertakers removing one of the bodies in the early morning of Oct 23 last year. State Coroner Marvin Bay yesterday said Mr Wang's stabbing of his wife appeared to be an impulsive and disorganised act.TNP FILE PHOTO

An unemployed man who killed his wife had earlier left two handwritten notes to their children, telling them to listen to their mother when "papa is no longer around one day'' and to study hard, a coroner's court heard yesterday.

The undated notes, written by Mr Wang Chan Foo alias Ongko Widjojo, 46, were found in a cupboard at his Novena Suites unit by Inspector Lim Hui Shan. The investigation officer had searched the flat after Mr Wang's fall from height on Oct 22 last year at 7.12pm.

His fall from the 13th floor of the block was captured on the body camera of a police officer and seen by a neighbour at that floor.

His 13-year-old daughterand seven-year-old son were in the lobby and they saw his body fall. He was found lying supine on a second-floor parapet and pronounced dead at about 7.30pm.

Civil defence officers broke into the unit and police found his wife's body in the master bedroom toilet.

Accounts executive Ng Soo San, 44, had eight stab wounds and was pronounced dead at 9.34pm.

The couple had been living separately since end-2012 but would meet on weekends as a family.

Giving his findings at an inquest into the couple's deaths, State Coroner Marvin Bay said the evidence suggested that Mr Wang's stabbing of his wife did not appear to have been an "extensively planned or pre-meditated act''.

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"Mr Wang had nurtured thoughts of reconciling with Madam Ng, and they were even planning a family cruise trip in November 2016."

He noted that Mr Wang had a regrettable history of abusive behaviour, which included two previous instances of assault on his wife.

When he was angry, he carried out "impulsive and irrational destructive acts of throwing out his children's books from their apartment''.

"The stabbing therefore appears to be an impetuous act, when Mr Wang was aroused by an unknown stressor, or set of stressors, while the two were in the apartment together, and had stabbed Madam Ng multiple times, while she was in an unclothed state in the shower," he said. Mr Wang dressed her up after the stabbing.

The court heard that she was supposed to pick up their two children from tuition at Velocity@Novena Square that afternoon.

When she failed to show up, their daughter called Mr Wang, who said he was going to take Madam Ng to a hospital as she had sprained her ankle. He told the girl initially to wait at Koufu foodcourt in Novena Square, and later, at the lobby of Novena Suites in Moulmein Road.

He later told his daughter to play on the second floor of the condo.

When she called at 5.57pm, he said he was in a "traffic jam''.

She eventually contacted her maternal aunt to pick the siblings up.

Coroner Bay said while there was no evidence to suspect foul play in Mr Wang's death, the investigation did unequivocally indicate that Madam Ng's death had been brought about by an act of foul play perpetrated by her husband.

A month before the incident, Mr Wang, who had severe insomnia, had overdosed on 20 sleeping pills with red wine. While he denied any suicidal intent, his message to his sister made ominous references to "leav(ing) this world'' and his "last lap of life''. "Mr Wang may also have wrestled with the notion of ending his life, given that he had appended two notes respectively addressed to his daughter and both children, instructing them to study hard if he were no longer around,'' Coroner Bay said.

He said Mr Wang's stabbing of his wife appeared to be an impulsive and disorganised act, one which he had not fully thought through.

"In the circumstances, I find Mr Wang had first perpetrated the unlawful killing of his wife, Madam Ng, before causing his own fall from height in a deliberate act of suicide,'' he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2017, with the headline 'Jobless man killed wife before leaping to his death'. Print Edition | Subscribe