SINGAPORE: A man who viciously assaulted his then-wife in front of their crying children after learning that she wanted to leave him was sentenced to a year’s jail on Friday (Mar 20).

The 36-year-old man cannot be named in order to protect the identity of the victim, who has since divorced him.

The incident occurred at about 10pm on Aug 26, 2018, at Pending LRT station in Bukit Panjang.

The 35-year-old woman told her husband of nine years that she wanted to return to her mother’s home that night, and he grabbed her hand asking her to go home with him.

When she refused, the man pushed her suddenly to the wall and punched her thrice on the face, in front of their six-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son.

As the children cried and shouted for him to stop, their mother fell backwards and fainted, but the man kicked her twice on her face and stomped on her head two times.

The woman’s face started bleeding and swelling, and she tried shouting for help but her husband covered her mouth with his hand.

Passers-by at the LRT station witnessed the attack, which the judge said was a violent, sustained and vicious assault.

A resident living nearby saw what happened from her bedroom window and called the police.

The woman was taken to a hospital where doctors found she suffered three fractures in her face, including in her nose and jawbone.

The man pleaded guilty last year to one charge of voluntarily causing grievous hurt to his wife, and another of contravening a personal protection order that she had against him.

The prosecutor pushed for at least 14 months’ jail, pointing out that the spousal violence had been committed in breach of the protection order and had caused public fear and alarm.

The defence asked instead for not more than six months’ jail and a fine of S$2,000.

HE JUST LEARNED HIS WIFE WANTED TO LEAVE HIM FOR GOOD: DEFENCE

The lawyer said her client had committed the offence in the spur of the moment, when he learned that his wife was about to leave him with his children “for good”.

“He is genuinely remorseful for having done what he did to the victim, his ex-wife,” said the lawyer. 

She said the incident stemmed from “a long-standing history of marital disputes” that has since ended in a divorce.

“In the aftermath … my client has not been able to see the children,” she said.

District Judge Seah Chi-Ling said the blows were to a vulnerable part of the victim’s body, noting the viciousness of the acts, that continued even after the woman had fallen down.

“The fact that the accused targeted the victim’s head repeatedly is aggravating, more so that she had already fallen down and shouted for help,” said the judge.

He added that it was also aggravating that it was domestic violence carried out in front of their crying children, who “could only watch helplessly”.

His breaching of a personal protection order also shows his “complete disregard” of the court order, said Judge Seah.

While he took into account the man’s plea of guilt, he added that the assault was seen by the public and that he was “pretty much caught red-handed”. 

He granted the man a deferment of his sentence for a month in order to settle household issues.

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