A man who poured freshly boiled water on his ex-wife’s face following a dispute was jailed six months on Wednesday (20 June).
Ho Yew Seng, 48, pleaded guilty in the State Courts to one charge of hurting Wendy Tan, 47.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Rimplejit Kaur told the court that the pair had met at Ho’s flat in Bukit Merah on 21 February, where they had drinks and talked about their relationship late into the night.
At about 2am, Tan switched off the flat’s living room fan as it was making too much noise. This upset Ho, who wanted to keep the fan on, leading to an argument between the two.
In the midst of the dispute, Ho headed to the kitchen and began boiling water in an electric kettle. He then threatened to pour the hot water on Tan.
Alarmed by Ho’s actions, Tan called her mother, who then called the police. When officers arrived at the flat, Ho refused to open the door.
As Tan walked towards the main door to open it, Ho became upset and poured the freshly boiled water over her face and body.
Tan was taken to the Singapore General Hospital burn centre for treatment and was found to have sustained second-degree burns over 14 per cent of her total body surface. She was discharged on 27 February.
A medical review conducted on 2 March found that most of Tan’s wounds had healed by that point.
“Police officers were at his doorstep yet he proceeded with the attack,” said DPP Kaur. Noting that Ho had aimed the hot water at Tan’s face, she asked the court for at least six months’ jail.
Ho, who was unrepresented and spoke through an interpreter, told the court that he was remorseful over his actions and that Tan has since forgiven him. Ho added that Tan had even stayed with him for a while after her discharge from the hospital.
They are also intending to remarry, Ho claimed, while promising to “love her and dote on her”. Tan, who was also in court, confirmed through an interpreter that she had indeed forgiven Ho.
When District Judge Mathew Joseph asked Tan if she intended to re-marry Ho, she initially said “yes” after some hesitation, although she later told the judge that she would have to think about it.
DJ Joseph noted that it was “extremely fortunate” that Tan did not sustain more serious injuries. Ho’s decision to attack her knowing that the police were at his doorstep was also “reprehensible”, said the judge.
For voluntarily causing hurt to another, Ho could have been jailed up to two years, fined up to $5,000, or both.
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