Nur Fairuzana Ahmad and her husband were in the bedroom of their Punngol home when he played an audio message of his girlfriend saying “I love you”.
When Muhammad Yasser Abdul Shukor replied in kind to the message, Fairuzana took a knife from the kitchen and stabbed him in the chest.
The 30-year-old shipping company administrator pleaded guilty on Thursday (14 September) to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt to her husband on 17 April last year. The couple have been married for 14 years and have two children.
Sometime earlier that year, Yaseer had confessed to his wife about his affair with a woman in the Philippines and made known his intention to take the woman as his second wife, said Fairuzana’s lawyer Vigneesh Nainar. Fairuzana decided to stay with her husband, hoping that he would change his mind.
In defending his client’s actions, Vigneeesh also pointed to the alleged abuse Fairuzana had suffered at Yaseer’s hands over the years of their marriage.
Struggle in the bedroom
On the day of the incident, Yaseer had been exchanging texts with his girlfriend while Fairuzana was with him in the bedroom of their home.
Angered by her husband’s reply to the other woman’s message, Fairuzana snatched away the phone. Yasser managed to take it back, pushing Fairuzana onto the bed in the process.
Fairuzana then left the room and later returned with a knife, whereupon she began shouting at Yasser before stabbing him in the chest. Yasser retaliated by grabbing her hand, causing Fairuzana to drop her knife. He then threw the knife out the window and called the police.
Fairuzana was arrested and taken to the Institute of Mental health where she was later diagnosed with adjustment disorder. Yasser was conveyed to Changi General Hospital and was found to have a 3cm stab wound on the right side of his chest.
Husband was ‘abusive’, says defence
While the prosecution sought a two-month jail sentence for Fairuzana – noting that she had used a dangerous weapon on her husband – the defence sought a Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO) with probation instead. Those issued with MTOs are given mental health treatment in lieu of jail time.
Fairuzana’s lawyer said that the offence was not premeditated and that she had taken the knife into the bedroom out of fear of being attacked by her husband, whom she alleged as having been repeatedly violent towards her.
Yasser had also antagonised Fairuzana after she returned to the bedroom with the knife, the defence said. “He bullishly asked her what she thought she was going to do with the knife, and if she thought that he was afraid of her… Our client was already distressed and her husband’s bullish responses only exacerbated the argument,” said Vigneesh.
Throughout the couple’s 14 years of marriage, Yasser was also allegedly abusive towards Fairuzana, causing her to take out a personal protection order against him in 2012. In 2004, shortly after the birth of their first child, Yasser allegedly assaulted Fairuzana with a billiard cue to the extent that she was unable to walk.
Between January and April last year, police had also been called to the couple’s residence three times, the defence added.
On one occasion, Yaseer had allegedly attacked his wife by sitting on her and choking her while she was still undressed after a shower. On another occasion, Yasser had allegedly restrained Fairuzana and cut off her fringe in order to embarrass her.
“Her marriage to her husband was a tumultuous one where she endured both physical and emotional abuse throughout. Adultery, attempted suicide, violent beatings and constant taunting are just a few things that she had suffered in the years and weeks prior to the… night of 17 April,” said Vigneesh.
Fairuzana has since moved out of her matrimonial home and is now living with her parents. She is currently undergoing therapy for her psychiatric condition and also decided to file for a divorce.
The couple’s children have been placed under the care of Yaseer’s mother and, as of February, Fairuzana has been granted unsupervised access to them.
Sentencing has been adjourned to 16 October for the court to assess Fairuzana’s suitability for a MTO. For voluntarily causing hurt, Fairuzana could have been fined two years and/or fined $5,000.
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