SINGAPORE: A woman was sentenced to eight months’ jail on Tuesday (May 30) for splashing hot water on her husband, who wanted to divorce her.
The man suffered second-degree burns and blistering from the attack.
Indonesian national Rahimah Nisva, 29, pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt by hot water.
The court heard that she married her husband, a 24-year-old Malaysian who lives in Singapore, in 2019.
They registered their marriage in Batam, Indonesia, where Rahimah lived, and had a daughter together in January 2023.
In December 2022, the couple’s marital relations began worsening as the man felt Rahimah was being too possessive.
In March 2023, he broached the possibility of a divorce while he was in Batam with his wife.
Rahimah did not display any signs of unhappiness after hearing this, and her husband went back to Singapore the next day.
However, a few days later on Mar 22, Rahimah took a ferry from Batam to Singapore with a colleague.
She had invited her female colleague on what she claimed was a leisure trip, offering meals in return for her company.
When the two women arrived in Singapore, Rahimah told her colleague that she needed to meet her husband to obtain some documents.
Rahimah changed into a black dress and put on headgear that left only her eyes exposed.
She went to her husband’s home and scouted the area before going back to meet her colleague.
Early the next morning, Rahimah filled a thermoflask with boiling water and told her colleague that she wanted to meet her husband before they returned to Batam.
She put on a similar getup as the previous day and waited at a staircase two flats away from her husband’s home.
Rahimah ran towards him and splashed boiling water from her flask onto his back when he was putting on his shoes outside the flat.
The man who was seated on a chair shouted in pain and tried to remove his shirt while Rahimah fled.
The man’s family members quickly lodged a police report.
Officers from the Police Coast Guard intercepted the ferry Rahimah and her colleague were on while it was en route to Batam and arrested her.
The victim was taken to hospital with a second-degree scald injury with blistering and skin loss over his upper back.
The injury extended to the back of his neck and part of his right arm.
He was given 16 days’ of medical leave and follow-up appointments with the Plastics Outpatient Clinic at Singapore General Hospital.
The prosecutor asked for seven to nine months’ jail for Rahimah, pointing to how the offence was deliberate and premeditated.
“The accused deliberately wore clothing that would conceal her identity, and specifically lay in wait outside the victim’s home before ambushing him. She had also paid a visit to this location the day before, to familiarise herself with the area,” said the prosecutor.
The victim was also vulnerable as he was tying his shoelaces and unable to evade the hot water at the time of the attack, he added.
Rahimah had also attempted to abscond after committing the offence.
It was not stated in open court or in documents whether the couple has since divorced, but Rahimah said she wanted to reunite with her husband.
For voluntarily causing hurt by means of a heated substance, she could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined. She cannot be caned as she is a woman.
As the offence was against someone she was in an intimate relationship with, the penalties could have been doubled.