SINGAPORE: In the heat of a quarrel with his wife, a man attacked her with a guitar and motorcycle helmet and ripped her nightgown, exposing her chest to two male tenants.
The 54-year-old man was sentenced on Tuesday (Oct 25) to 10 months’ jail. He pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing grievous hurt, with another charge of using criminal force to outrage his wife’s modesty taken into consideration.
He cannot be named due to gag orders protecting his wife’s identity.
The court heard that the offender had an argument with his 42-year-old wife in their flat on the night of Feb 28, 2021.
In the argument, he threw his wife’s phone to the ground and called her a prostitute, before grabbing her hair.
The flat was shared with two male tenants. The victim ran into the tenants’ room to seek shelter, but was pursued by her husband, who continued assaulting her.
He punched and shook her, persisting in his assault despite the tenants asking him to stop.
The victim tried to escape by running around the house, but the accused chased her with a guitar and hit her with it. His wife took a motorcycle helmet to defend herself, but the offender took it from her and hit her with it.
The force of the attack broke the visor off the helmet.
The man then tore the front of his wife’s nightgown, exposing her chest. He said: “This woman is a prostitute,” and said she was not fit to wear clothes.
He also called her a slut and a whore.
As a result, his wife felt humiliated and embarrassed. Seeing that the man was refusing to stop his attack, the tenants left to seek help from neighbours.
A police report was made and an ambulance called. The woman was taken to hospital with a laceration and a fractured finger that required surgery.
On Tuesday, the prosecutor asked for 10 to 12 months’ jail, saying it was a sustained attack and a form of domestic violence. She pointed to the use of implements such as the guitar and helmet.
The judge read out parts of the victim impact statement, where the man’s wife said her finger still hurts, such as in a cold environment. She said she felt embarrassed when her husband tore her clothes in front of the tenants, and still feels embarrassed.
As a result of the incident, she is now quieter and less talkative, something that her colleagues have noticed, the court heard.
Asked if he had anything to say in mitigation, the man initially said nothing. However, he later said his wife had made him angry.
He said he was sleeping at home after returning from work when she started to make noise. He said she started to nag him and said he was tired from work.
He also pointed the finger at the tenants.
In response, the judge said: “So you’re blaming the tenants for not stopping you? Rather than blaming yourself for not stopping? I don’t think you’re helping yourself.”
He noted that the victim was the offender’s wife, who could have expected protection from him but instead was assaulted by him.
There are “so many aggravating factors in this case”, said the judge. However, he noted the man’s clean record.
“I hope this is the first and last time something like this happens,” he said.