Man threatens to kill wife for refusing him sex
Jealous because of a Facebook post... He also threatens her with knife in another incident
The two men appeared in the dock next to each other in court yesterday to answer for their crimes.
Though they were strangers and their cases were not related, they had one thing in common - they were wife-beaters.
And they had pulled their wives out of bed by their hair before assaulting them.
In Ridduan Jaafar's case, he pinned his wife, Madam Shelly Lestari, against a wall and even threatened to kill her with a knife after she rejected his advances.
The restaurant assistant manager, 25, was jailed for four months while the other man, Pravin Kumar, 35, was jailed for three months.
The court heard that Ridduan was at home about 1am on Dec 13 last year when he saw a Facebook post from Madam Shelly's male colleague to her.
He became jealous and pulled her out of bed by her hair and into the living room, where he pushed her against the wall and punched her.
Madam Shelly, 30, suffered injuries to her head and lips. She was given three days of medical leave.
This was the first of three reported incidents where Ridduan physically abused her.
On Dec 15, he wanted to visit her at her workplace. When she refused to see him, he got angry and texted her profanities and threatened to throw away her belongings.
Madam Shelly asked for time off from work to rush home. When Ridduan returned home later that afternoon, he scolded her as she was packing her belongings.
Afraid that he would hit her again, she called the police and said: "My husband here causing trouble. He trying to open my door. (sic)"
FILING FOR DIVORCE
Two weeks later, at about midnight on Dec 26, Ridduan tried to have sex with her. He climbed on top of her and tried to undress her.
But Madam Shelly refused because they were in the process of filing for a divorce.
After they got into an argument, Ridduan stormed to the kitchen and grabbed a knife with a 7cm blade.
He then pushed his wife against a wall, pressed the knife against her neck and threatened to kill her.
Madam Shelly started crying.
A neighbour called the police and said: "I don't know what happened, but I heard crying and shouting in Malay and some throwing of glasses for the past 30 minutes and getting worse. (sic)"
Madam Shelly had been granted a Personal Protection Order (PPO) against Ridduan on Dec 9.
Yesterday, he pleaded guilty to one count of criminal intimidation and another of breaching the PPO by using violence against Madam Shelly.
His defence lawyer, Mr Mervyn Tan, said in mitigation that his client was sorry and regretted what he had done.
He said Ridduan had lost his temper after finding out that his wife had extramarital affairs.
Mr Tan pointed out that his client, who has a two-year-old daughter, was not a violent person and hopes to reconcile with his wife.
The New Paper visited the couple's one-room rental flat at Geylang Bahru yesterday but no one appeared to be home.
Neighbours said they overheard quarrelling several times a week.
One of them, a retiree who declined to be named, said: "Even though they were loud when they quarrelled, I couldn't hear the actual words they shouted at each other as they always kept the door closed.
"They have a little daughter who is about three years old and I feel sad for her, to be seeing her own parents violently quarrelling all the time."
Another neighbour, who also declined to be named, said the couple kept to themselves.
For criminally intimidating his wife, Ridduan could have been jailed up to two years and fined.
For breaching the PPO, he could have been jailed up to six months and/or fined up to $5,000.
- Additional reporting by Shaffiq Alkhatib
He bashes her face till she bleeds
After having a few drinks, he scolded his wife for coming home late.
A few hours later, he pounded her face with his fists till she bled.
He did this in front of their two young children, aged four and two, who cried when they saw what was happening to their mother.
Yesterday, Pravin Kumar, 35, was jailed for three months.
He had pleaded guilty last month to one count of voluntarily causing hurt to his wife and one count of breaching an Expedited Order, an urgent Personal Protection Order made without having to go through a trial.
At about 6.30pm on June 4 last year, the then jobless Pravin drank beer at the void deck of his Marsiling Road HDB block.
About an hour later, his wife, Madam Gunaletchumy Sandirakuptan, 34, returned home and found him outside their unit, reeking of alcohol.
Pravin scolded his wife for coming home late and asked for money.
She ignored him and went to take a shower. As she was doing so, Pravin left the flat.
At about 10pm, Madam Gunaletchumy put her two children to bed before turning in for the night.
The administrative officer was woken up about two hours later by Pravin who wanted to talk to her.
She told him that she was not feeling well and that he was drunk. She requested that they talk the next day.
But Pravin became violent and punched his wife on the face and head.
He turned on the lights, pulled her out of bed by her hair and knocked her head against a shoe rack.
As Madam Gunaletchumy bled from her face and mouth, she noticed that her two children had woken up and were crying.
She called the police when her husband went to the kitchen.
When the officers arrived, Pravin told her to tell them that she had fallen and hurt herself.
When paramedics arrived, she was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.
Pravin was arrested.
Madam Gunaletchumy, who suffered from bloodied lips and nose, abrasions on her eyelids and other injuries all over her body, was given five days of medical leave.
She applied for an Expedited Order against her husband on June 6.
But that did not stop Pravin from striking again.
About two weeks later, he returned home from yet another drinking session and asked his family to join him to watch a traditional dance downstairs.
While they were there, Pravin pushed his wife and raised his hand as if he was about to hit her.
A fearful Madam Gunaletchumy grabbed her children, fled back to their unit and locked the main door.
Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Jane Lim said Pravin was no stranger to violence - he had been convicted of voluntarily causing hurt in March last year.
For voluntarily causing hurt, he could have been jailed up to two years and fined up to $5,000.
The maximum penalty for breaching the Expedited Order is six months' jail and/or a $2,000 fine.
Abused & abuser should get help
Women who are experiencing abuse and violence at home should seek help, not just for themselves but also for their abusive spouses, said Dr Carol Balhetchet.
"In a case of domestic violence, the husband may also need help to find other ways for him to communicate his unhappiness," the senior director for youth services at the Singapore Children's Society said.
Describing the two men as cavemen-like for dragging their wives by the hair, she said that domestic abuse should never be condoned.
Not seeking help could make matters worse and such incidents should never take place in front of children as it would teach them the wrong things.
The Association of Women for Action and Research's (Aware) support services manager, Ms Sheena Kanwar, advised victims of abuse to arrange for a safe shelter for themselves and their children. They should contact a trusted friend or family member who can help.
They can also apply for a Personal Protection Order at the Family Court or Family Violence Specialist Centre.
"If you're not ready or able to take legal steps, you can get support from a counsellor. At times, just reaching a friendly ear at a helpline can be a good starting point," she said.
Marriage counsellor John Vasavan said the couples should seek counselling, separately if necessary, after the husband is released from prison.
Running away from their partners should not be the only option because it does not solve the root of their marital problems.
Mr Vasavan said family service centres are equipped with counsellors to deal with such cases.
"See a counsellor and have both parties amicably share what they intend to do with the next part of their lives, be it go separate ways or get back together," he said.
CARE CORNER PROJECT START
TRANS SAFE CENTRE