SINGAPORE: A 23-year-old woman who slashed her mother-in-law and punched her in the face was sentenced to jail for eight months on Friday (May 24).
The altercation occurred after the woman's husband asked his mother to confront his wife over a suspected affair.
Nurul Natasha Sazali, 23, pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon, with another two charges of criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt taken into consideration.
Natasha lived with her 25-year-old husband and his mother, 68, in a flat in western Singapore, the court heard.
At about 10.30pm on Dec 15 last year, Natasha's husband asked his mother to speak to Natasha as he suspected she was having an affair with another man.
While Natasha was giving her mother-in-law a massage in her room, the older woman confronted her about the matter.
She asked Natasha if her son was not good enough for her, and if "one husband was not enough for her", said Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Jun Chong.
Enraged by her mother-in-law's words, Natasha followed her and punched her a few times in the face, causing the older woman's lip to bleed.
Natasha then went into the kitchen and fetched a 30cm-long chopper. Wielding the weapon, she confronted her mother-in-law in the living room and shouted: "You better die la."
Natasha then slashed her mother-in-law twice in the back with the chopper. The older woman managed to grab the weapon and tossed it aside, before running out of the house with her daughter-in-law on her heels.
Later that night, Natasha's husband called the police, saying: "My wife slashed my mother and throw away the knife."
The victim was hospitalised at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital for three days for injuries to her head, lacerations to her lip, fingers, forearm, back and shoulder.
A medical report stated that while she did not suffer any permanent injuries, she may form scars or keloids and scar tissues may limit hand functions.
After Natasha was arrested, she was referred by the police to the Institute of Mental Health, which stated in a psychiatric report that she had no mental illness and was not suffering from a major depressive disorder at the time of the offence.
However, it explained that Natasha had borderline personality traits which include a fear of abandonment, rapid reactive changes to her mood and a tendency to get angry easily.
District Judge Ong Chin Rhu said the injuries caused by Natasha were "extensive", but noted that it "seems that the victim feels safe enough to resume family life in the same household".
The judge ordered the chopper to be handed to the police for disposal.
For voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon, Natasha could have been jailed for up to seven years or fined.