SINGAPORE — During a quarrel with her husband, a woman used a vegetable peeler and four different golf clubs to hit him, fracturing his face and causing his brain to bleed.
Phan Thi Ngoc Dung, a 44-year-old Vietnamese national, was suffering from a psychotic disorder that contributed to her belief that her Singaporean husband was having an affair.
Phan, who is on a long term social visit pass, was jailed two and a half years on Thursday (18 July). She pleaded guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt to Chong Zheng Ye, 51, knowing that she would cause him grievous hurt.
The coupled married in 2013, but Chong has since filed for divorce. They and Phan’s daughter, who is not from her current husband, shared a flat in Yishun.
On 29 March, the couple quarrelled in Chong’s bedroom at about 4.15am. During the argument, she used a vegetable peeler which she had earlier brought into the room to stab Chong on the back.
After the peeler broke, Phan grabbed a golf club from the floor of the bedroom and hit Chong’s back. Chong shouted for Phan to stop but the woman used another golf club to beat the crown of his head thrice and his back five to six times.
As Chong tried to flee to the living room, Phan used another gold club to hit him on his left eye. She then used another golf club to hit the back of his head twice.
Phan’s daughter woke up due to the commotion and stopped her. Chong called the police stating that his wife wanted to kill him.
Chong was diagnosed in hospital with traumatic brain injury, bleeding in his brain, scalp and facial laceration, fractures in his eye socket and nose, facial fractures and bleeding in his left eye. He went through plastic surgery for his lacerations.
Seeking two and a half years’ jail, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Yen Seow described the attack as “a vicious and bloody display of violence on a defenceless victim”.
Phan had used an array of weapons on a victim who offered no resistance. Her assault was bloody and persistent, and it only stopped when her daughter intervened.
Phan had also targetted vulnerable parts of her husband’s body.
Lawyer Noor Mohamed Marican, who accepted the case pro bono, described the case as a “very sad case (that) should not have happened” due to Phan’s mental disorder.
“Even during observation, she was in a state of nakedness, even in the toilet, but when medication was given she became better almost immediately,” said the lawyer.
“The fact that she behaved in the way...was only because of psychotic disorder that she suffering from,” said Marican.
Phan wants to remain in Singapore as her daughter is studying here, the lawyer said.
When asked by District Judge May Mesenas if she had friends in Singapore, Phan replied “no” through an interpreter.
DJ Mesenas told Phan that she must take medication and deal with her disorder.
Phan could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined for her offence. She is not liable for caning as she is a woman.
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