Chinese national Zheng Xianghua was sentenced to nine years’ jail on Monday (Apr 11), after pleading guilty to killing his wife in a jealous rage in 2014.
Zheng, 38, had suspected his wife, Wang Xueyan, 37, was having an affair. The truck driver enlisted the help of Wang’s roommate to spy on her, and the roommate told Zheng his wife had secretly been communicating with her Indian supervisor.
On Dec 16, 2014, Zheng invited Wang to spend the night in his rented room at Block 503 Tampines Central 1. However, the couple quarrelled, and Zheng took a 20cm-long knife which he had purchased earlier and had intended to confront Wang’s lover with. Wang became angry when she saw the knife, and dared her husband to kill her.
Zheng hit his wife on the head and slapped her, before he slashed her repeatedly with the knife until she was “covered in blood”, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Si En said.
Frightened, Zheng wrapped the knife in a towel and took it to the top floor of a neighbouring block, where he stabbed himself thrice in the chest in an apparent suicide attempt. He also slashed either side of his neck, severing both jugular veins. He climbed onto the parapet but did not have the courage to jump, DPP Tan said.
Zheng was eventually pulled off the ledge hours later by police officers, who also recovered the knife.
An autopsy showed Wang had sustained 14 stab wounds on her chest and back, all of which had pierced her right lung, according to the report.
Zheng underwent emergency surgery at Changi General Hospital to treat the self-inflicted stab wounds. He was charged with Wang’s murder while recuperating from surgery in hospital.
ASSAILANT SUFFERED PATHOLOGICAL JEALOUSY: REPORT
Psychiatric reports showed Zheng suffered from both a “severe depressive episode” and “delusional disorder, jealous type”, also known as pathological jealousy, at the time he killed his wife.
The report noted that “either of each, on its own, would be sufficient to result in a substantial diminution of (Zheng’s) mental responsibility at the time of the offence”, qualifying Zheng for the defence of diminished responsibility.
The report also stated Zheng is likely to require psychiatric treatment for at least two years.
Zheng’s lawyer Ng Shi Yang urged the court not to impose more than nine years’ jail on his client. Zheng had killed his wife “in the heat of the moment” and has “the rest of his life to regret his actions”, the lawyer said. Mr Ng also noted that Zheng has made good progress with regards to psychiatric treatment.
DPP Tan called for Zheng to be jailed for 10 to 12 years. Zheng had “attacked a defenceless woman in a small, enclosed space. He had not stopped until she was covered in blood”, the DPP said.
Justice Choo Han Teck, in sentencing Zheng to nine years’ jail, said it is “not easy to ascertain the degree of retributive justice sufficient in homicides for persons suffering from mental illnesses”.
For culpable homicide not amounting to murder, Zheng could have faced life imprisonment and caning, or up to 20 years’ jail and caning.