Mum of boy killed by dad: My son was 'tool for revenge'
French woman describes bitter custody battle with Belgian banker who killed their only child, 5
"I am broken."
That was how Mrs Gwendoline Graffart reacted to the five-year jail sentence imposed yesterday on her estranged husband, Belgian national Philippe Marcel Guy Graffart, 42, for killing their only child, Keryan.
He was five years old when his father smothered him with a cushion before trying to kill himself on Oct 5 last year.
In a statement issued after the sentencing through her long-time friend, Mrs Fiona Miller, Mrs Graffart said she is still in a "state of profound grief and has been sentenced to a life of pain".
Calling the sentence "too lenient", the 40-year-old French national claimed that "the sole purpose of the (killing) was to hurt me as much as possible", and that her son was used as "a tool for revenge".
Mrs Graffart also alleged that recorded conversations between her and Graffart before the tragedy showed that he had repeatedly threatened her and their son.
While they were embroiled in a bitter divorce custody battle in April last year, she claimed that he told her over the phone: "If you take away my son, I will kill you."
She also alleged that he told her in a recorded voice message at the end of July: "I will kill myself with your son."
However, Graffart, who was Nordea Bank's head of fund distribution for the Asia-Pacific region, was assessed to be suffering from major depressive disorder at the time of the killing, which substantially impaired his judgment.
The initial charge of murder was amended to the lesser offence of culpable homicide, which he pleaded guilty to earlier this month.
In a detailed timeline sent to The New Paper, Mrs Graffart claimed the harassment by her husband began as early as 2014.
But in the months leading to Keryan's death, she said she saw a more drastic change in Graffart, especially after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in early June.
Not long after her diagnosis, she returned to France with Keryan, and underwent a mastectomy.
While she was there, Graffart allegedly continued the harassment and, at one point, sent his wife "325 texts of insults and threats" in 24 hours.
After intense pressure from him, Mrs Graffart said she was compelled to put their son on a flight to Singapore with a family friend.
Keryan lived with his father for about two weeks until Mrs Graffart returned to Singapore on Aug 6.
During those two weeks, she claimed that Graffart would coach Keryan to hurt her with insults over the phone.
She said in the statement that she had gone to the police and embassy officials in Singapore and France to try to obtain protection for herself and Keryan.
After her return to Singapore, she filed a police report before applying for a personal protection order (PPO) under the Women's Charter.
TNP was shown a copy of the application.
Pending the hearing for the full PPO, The Family Justice Courts granted her an interim expedited order as it was "satisfied that there is imminent danger of family violence being committed" against her and Keryan.
Graffart was ordered to restrain from "committing family violence" on his wife and son in the interim.
On Oct 2 last year, Graffart received his wife's written affidavit, which was scheduled to be heard at the Family Justice Courts on Oct 6.
On the night of Oct 5, Graffart smothered Keryan with a cushion before crashing his car in a bid to kill himself. He escaped with minor injuries.
Mrs Graffart said in the statement: "I should not have let Keryan stay there, but I never wanted to stop Keryan from having a relationship with his dad."
She has started an online petition in memory of her son.
She added: "It is a tragedy of the highest order, for myself and especially for Keryan.
"It is cruelty beyond measure, and from this day forward, I will be compelled to act, to fight for the truth for Keryan and for other women in the same terrible, nasty, black, helpless, horrible place."
Previous cases of children's deaths cited in court
A 51-year-old woman was jailed for five years for killing her 14-year-old daughter by stabbing the sleeping teen in the heart with a fruit knife.
The woman, who was suicidal and suffering from bipolar disorder and severe depression, failed to go through with her plan to kill herself.
A divorcee was jailed for seven years for killing her 12-year-old son. She had fed him sedatives before smothering him.
She was found to suffer from major depression caused by relationship and financial problems, as well as a pending criminal case against her. She failed to kill herself by overdosing on pills and slashing her wrists..
A housewife was jailed six years for killing her two sons, aged one and six, after a fight with her husband over money.
She bludgeoned one son with a stone pounder and stabbed another with a screwdriver.
The woman, who was suffering from severe depression, then slashed and stabbed herself, and drank bleach in a failed suicide attempt.
A mother was jailed six years for throwing her two daughters, aged three years and two months, to their deaths from the sixth storey of a block of flats in Choa Chu Kang.
The 29-year-old woman, who had post-natal depression, also jumped but survived.
A housewife was sentenced to nine years' jail for throwing her three children from a block of flats in Hougang.
Her children, aged three, two, and 21 days, were killed, but their mother, who had a serious mental illness, survived the six-storey fall.