Singapore

Thai woman jailed 5½ years for killing lover

Thai woman gets 5½ years' jail for culpable homicide of lover

When he saw his girlfriend dancing with a stranger in a nightclub, he got upset and scolded her.

Later that night in bed, Mr Lee Yang Boo, 55, accused Sukanya Praphuttha of having a sexual relationship with the man and hurled vulgarities at her.

In a fit of anger, she attacked him and stomped on his head so hard that she fractured his skull.

He died a few hours later.

At 1.56m tall and 55kg, she was 10cm shorter than Mr Lee but 10kg heavier.

Yesterday, the Thai national, who is a permanent resident here, pleaded guilty to killing Mr Lee and was sentenced to 5½ years' jail for culpable homicide.

Some time during the assault in their North Bridge Road flat in the early hours of March 1, 2015, a neighbour heard Mr Lee shouting "Don't beat me" and "Stop beating me", the court was told.

Praphuttha, who is in her 40s, and Mr Lee had lived together in the rented flat for seven years.

They had a tumultuous relationship, marked by quarrels and at times, physical fights.

On the night of Feb 28, 2015, after going for drinks with friends at a nightclub where she danced with a stranger, they returned home.

After more drinks, they quarrelled and Mr Lee made the accusation. She eventually placated him and they went to bed.

Later, Mr Lee suddenly woke up and continued to hurl vulgarities at Praphuttha, and insulted her parents as well.

A scuffle ensued, which resulted in Mr Lee lying down on his side on the bedroom floor.

With her right foot, Praphuttha stomped on the left side of his head.

HIT REPEATEDLY

She claimed she lost her temper when he continued to hurl vulgarities, so she hit him repeatedly on his face, body and limbs.

As she helped Mr Lee onto the bed, Praphuttha noticed that his left ear was bleeding and he was having difficulties breathing.

At about 4.30am, she sought help from a neighbour, who called the police.

Mr Lee was pronounced dead in hospital at about 6.45am.

An autopsy concluded that he died from head injuries "most likely caused by heavy blunt force impact to the sides of the head" and were "most likely inflicted by a broad surface".

There were 47 bruises found all over his body.

Praphuttha was found to have a handful of bruises and abrasions.

She was initially charged with murder, but the charge was reduced to culpable homicide, which carries a maximum of 10 years' jail.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohamed Faizal sought a six-year jail sentence, arguing that Praphuttha had viciously attacked Mr Lee when he was already "down for the count".

Mr Lee died a slow and painful death, he said.

Praphuttha's assigned lawyer Cheryl Ng argued that his "highly provocative" insults at her parents triggered the reaction. She asked for four years' jail, saying her client regrets killing the man she loves.

Ms Ng said Praphuttha moved here in 1991 when she married a Chinese national, with whom she had a daughter.

After they got divorced, Praphuttha got to know Mr Lee and later moved in with him.

Mr Lee's sister, who was in court, said her brother suffered a death he did not deserve.

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