SINGAPORE — When his wife admitted to having an affair and asked him "what can you do", a man pushed her to the ground and kicked the part of her skull that was already injured from the fall.
Cui Huan, 25, killed his 26-year-old wife, who died from a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which refers to a bleeding in the space around the brain.
The Chinese national was sentenced to seven years and nine strokes of the cane on Tuesday (15 February) after he pleaded guilty to one count of voluntarily causing grievous hurt to his wife, whom he married in May 2016 in China. Cui had been originally charged with murder, which carries the death penalty or life imprisonment with caning, but his charge had since been downgraded.
The couple have a four-year-old daughter cared for by Cui’s parents in China, according to his lawyer John Koh from Populus Law.
The couple came to Singapore to work for a catering company called Deli Hub in October 2019, and were housed at different locations due to company policy.
Cui worked in the store while the victim worked at the food processing department, where she later had an affair with a colleague.
From March or April 2020, the couple met less frequently as Cui worked the morning shift while his wife worked the night shift. From June 2020, Cui began suspecting his wife of having an affair with the colleague.
On 27 August 2020, Cui saw his wife leaving Deli Hub’s premises on her bicycle. Cui went to look for the third party in the firm's premises. As he was unable to find him, he thought his wife and her lover were together.
Cui took the afternoon off and went to his wife’s unit at Block 211 Boon Lay Place in a bid to catch the two together. He cycled to her block but saw that she was not home. He waited for nearly four hours before meeting a colleague instead.
While he was with the colleague near Boon Lay Shopping Centre, Cui saw his wife cycling home. He borrowed his colleague’s bicycle and chased her. Upon reaching her, Cui snatched his wife’s phone out of her back pocket to check for incriminating messages of her affair, but he was unable to unlock her phone.
His wife ignored his request for the passcode and continued home. Cui returned his colleague's bicycle before finding his wife, who again ignored the request for the passcode.
Cui then grabbed her hand to unlock the phone with her fingerprint. She struggled and bit Cui on the shoulder, but Cui managed to unlock the phone. He walked off while checking his wife’s WeChat messages.
Cui wandered to a park near Block 211 and found incriminating messages. He confronted his wife, who admitted to the affair, according to the prosecution. She also told Cui, “what can you do” in Mandarin.
Incensed, Cui slapped his wife’s face, causing her to leave. She ignored Cui’s shouts, prompting Cui to punch her on the back a few times.
At an open area near the wife’s block, Cui stopped her and asked if she was being fair to him for having an affair, and the woman replied “So what?”.
His wife slapped him and Cui shoved her to the ground in retaliation. The wife fell, with the back of her head hitting the concrete floor. She curled up, covering the back of her head with her hands.
“He then kicked her three to four times at back of her head and her neck...The victim’s blood was subsequently found on his right sneaker. The accused also bent down and punched the victim once on the back of her head,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Gabriel Choong.
“The accused did all this (assault)...with the intent to cause some fracture or other form of grievous hurt to her,” said the DPP. A man and woman witnessed the attack.
Cui stopped after he heard a man shout at him. He then told his wife, “You just wait for me to go back to China to divorce you” in Mandarin, before fleeing.
The victim groaned in pain and rolled on the ground before fainting. Police officers alerted to the case later found that she was not breathing and had no pulse.
Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation was applied on the victim, who was conveyed to hospital where she was pronounced dead. She was found with injuries to her brain, neck, head, and limbs.
The fatal injury was assessed to have either been caused by the victim’s fall to the concrete floor, or Cui’s kicks and punch to her head and neck, or a combination of the two.
Later that night, police officers found Cui as he was about to leave his house. Cui claimed not to remember about the fight. He admitted to hitting the victim two to three times and pushing her. Cui was later arrested, and assessed to not have any mental disorder.
In mitigation, Koh said that the wife had shouted at Cui, “I went to a hotel room to have sex with (my lover), what can you do about it?
“Our client had been loyal to the victim and their child throughout their marriage. He had worked tirelessly to provide a living for her and their daughter… it appeared to him that the victim had not a shred of remorse for cheating on him and breaking up their family.”
Cui was very young and his act – the first time he had ever hit his wife – was not premeditated, Koh said.
“He is not usually a violent man by nature, but he had lost control of his temper upon finding out about his wife’s affair and her cruel words to him,” said Koh.
Koh sought five years’ jail and nine strokes of the cane.
Voluntarily causing grievous hurt carries a jail term of up to 10 years, and a fine or caning.
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