SINGAPORE — Throughout 28 years of marriage, he was protective of his wife and would keep close tabs on her whereabouts and who she was with.
Krishnan Raju’s jealous rage intensified towards the last year of their marriage, with him often stalking Raithena Vaithena Samy, checking her phone and accusing her of having an affair in front of their family. His suspicion against his wife peaked after he heard a voice recording where she mentioned the name of another man.
In a drunken rage late one night on 26 October 2017, Krishnan, 53, took a knife from his kitchen and stabbed Raithena, 44, ruthlessly while she was in shower. He then dragged her to the master bedroom where he again violently stabbed her and strangled her as she screamed.
He then hit a power socket with his hammer, causing his house to black out, before fleeing his home.
Before he escaped to Malaysia, Krishnan, who shared a 20-year-old son and 22-year-old daughter with Raithena, sent a last message to his loved ones to ‘forgive him’.
In the High Court on Tuesday (28 July), Krishnan, a self-employed bus driver, pleaded guilty to one count of culpable homicide for stabbing Raithena with the intention of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death at his residence in a Loyang Gardens condominium.
Delusional disorder jealous type
Krishnan was possessive of his wife, whom he married when she was 17. Their relationship took a turn for the worse from December 2016, when Krishnan felt that his wife’s attitude towards him had changed.
Raithena would come back late drunk and make excuses not to have sex with him. In January 2017, when the operations executive went to Malacca for a company event, Krishnan suddenly showed up at the hotel and insisted that she meet up with him.
He began to suspect the woman of having an affair and made the accusations in front of family members, spurring Raithena to ask for a divorce.
Raithena was having a clandestine affair with a male colleague from November 2016.
Eventually, Raithena moved out of the master bedroom into her daughter’s bedroom to sleep at night. Suspicious of her, Krishnan installed an audio recording device in his daughter’s bedroom to record his wife’s conversations.
Stabbed her in the shower and dragged her to bedroom
On 26 October 2017, at about 7.40pm, Krishnan returned to his home after work and consumed gin. He retrieved the recordings from his daughter’s bedroom and listened to them on his laptop. He heard his wife mention a man named “Saravanan”.
“He believed that the deceased was laughing at him and suspected she was having an affair with the man named ‘Saravanan’. This made him very angry,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Li Yihong in court.
Raithena returned home at around 9pm and took a shower in the toilet attached to the master bedroom. By then, her husband had drunk 200ml of gin, which contained 43 per cent alcohol content.
The intoxicated man took a knife from the kitchen sink and a hammer from a toolbox. He then entered the toilet where Raithena was showering and stabbed her, leaving a trail of blood on the toilet floor.
Saravanan then dragged the struggling woman to the master bedroom, intending to make her listen to the audio recording. He then repeatedly stabbed at Raithena, including five times on the chest. When Raithena screamed, Krishnan choked her, only realising later that the woman had gone silent and was motionless.
Knowing that his daughter would be returning home that night, Krishnan sent a string of messages to Raithena’s nephew, who was supposed to drive the daughter home.
He then used the hammer to knock an electric socket behind the bedside table in the master bedroom, cutting off the electricity to the whole apartment and causing it to black out. Krishnan left his wife gasping for breath in the master bedroom and left the unit, forgetting to close the front door.
At around 10.10pm, Krishnan sent the text message “forgave (sic) me” to his family members before leaving the condominium in his car. He was captured on a Land Transport Authorit camera driving into an open-air carpark near the Pasir Ris Neighbourhood Police Centre some three minutes later, then leaving after a few minutes.
He continued to send messages to his nephew to delay sending his daughter back to the unit, even as he fled to Johor Bahru through Woodlands Checkpoint. That night, Krishnan stayed with his elder brother in Malaysia.
At about 11pm, Raithena’s nephew sent Krishnan’s daughter home in a lorry. They reached the condominium at about 11.40pm but chatted in the lorry until midnight.
The daughter then headed to the unit while the nephew remained in the lorry. She noticed the front door of the unit was left ajar and that the apartment was in complete darkness. She tried to turn on the lights but they did not work.
After spotting a blood stain on the door of the master bedroom, she called her cousin who came to the unit. The two then went into the master bedroom using the torchlights on their handphones. They discovered Raithena’s body on the floor. Her legs were stretched out while her head was resting on the bedside table.
The daughter became hysterical and her cousin called the police. The cousin was given instructions to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on his aunt and he did so until help arrived.
The knife with a broken tip was found under Raithena’s right leg and the hammer was found below the bedside table in the master bedroom. Both items were seized.
Raithena’s cause of death was certified to be due to the stab wounds to her chest. She sustained 13 stab wounds with eight others on her face, abdomen and limbs. She also had 17 incised wounds on her body.
On 27 October 2017 at around 10.43am, Krishnan returned to Singapore and surrendered himself at Woodlands Checkpoint.
He was diagnosed to have delusional disorder of the jealous type by an Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist.
“While (Raithena) was actually having an affair with a male colleague, (the psychiatrist) was satisfied that (Krishnan) did not have any concrete evidence to conclude that his wife was unfaithful,” said the prosecution. Despite his lack of evidence, Krishnan showed the degree of his belief in his wife’s infidelity through his actions, including stalking the victim, checking her handphone and accusing her of an affair in front of their family.
“(The psychiatrist) found evidence of distress and impairment of functioning as (Krishnan) was so preoccupied about her unfaithfulness that he could not cope with his driving jobs and started drinking heavily in the weeks leading up to the offence,” the prosecution added.
The disorder was found to have substantially impaired Krishnan’s mental responsibility for the offence, but it did not affect his ability to understand the nature of his actions.
The court on Tuesday entered a Newton hearing to determine the degree to which Krishnan’s intoxication contributed to the offence. Krishnan, who is represented by lawyer Kalidass Murugaiyan, will be sentenced after the Newton hearing concludes.
The prosecution is seeking 12 years’ jail while Kalidass is seeking eight years’ jail.
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