Man gets jail, cane for horror attack on ex-girlfriend
The brutal attack left her with a slash wound on her neck that almost entirely severed her windpipe.
Her left eye was also found out of its socket.
Salesgirl Zhang Jie, 24, died a painful and horrific death. An autopsy report revealed she suffered 192 wounds and bruises in all.
Sadly, her killer was none other than her ex-boyfriend, driver Xiao Guiliang, 31 - someone whom she had once loved for more than three years.
Xiao was jailed for 12 years and ordered to receive six strokes of the cane yesterday after pleading guilty to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Both of them came from China.
Ms Zhang came to Singapore in December 2007 to study at the Singapore Institute of Management while Xiao arrived about six months later to work as a bus driver.
They were acquainted online in late 2009 but met each other in person only about two months later.
They had sex on their first date and became lovers.
The couple decided to live together and rented a four-room flat at Block 631, Jurong West Street 65in March 2011.
In September 2012, Ms Zhang found out that she was pregnant and told Xiao about her condition.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Chee Min Ping said: "As (her) family was opposed to her relationship with (Xiao), (she) told (him) that they should end their relationship and requested for $2,000 to cover the expenses for an abortion."
Xiao, who was back in China at that time, transferred the money over. He later returned to Singapore and accompanied Ms Zhang to KK Women's and Children's Hospital for the abortion on Sept 26, 2012.
At the end of February 2013, Xiao entered into a lease agreement for a rental room in another unit at Block 674, Choa Chu Kang Crescent and she agreed to live with him.
Said DPP Chee: "However, a few days later, (she) informed (him) that she wanted to end their relationship as her mother was opposed to (it). (He) agreed to the break-up."
Despite this, the couple agreed to live together for the time being and also continued having a sexual relationship.
They moved into the unit at Block 674 on March 16, 2013 and about three months later, Ms Zhang moved to a flat nearby at Block 672.
On June 6 that year, Xiao went home from work at around 6pm and after drinking some beer in the living room of his flat, he realised that he had locked himself out of his room.
Remembering that Ms Zhang still had a set of his keys with her, he called his ex-girlfriend and asked for it.
After she told him that she was on her way home on the MRT, he decided to walk to the nearby Yew Tee station to wait for her.
He saw her walking outside the station sometime after midnight on June 7, accompanied by another man, Mr Ho Han Loong.
DPP Chee said: "(Xiao) saw (her) right hand resting on (Mr Ho's) left forearm. (He) went forward to confront them.
"(He) told her that she was 'fast' in getting a new boyfriend."
He asked Mr Ho who he was and the latter replied that he was Ms Zhang's colleague.
She handed Xiao the keys and Mr Ho soon walked away.
The court heard that she got angry and scolded Xiao while they were walking home. He then told her to collect all her belongings from his flat, or he would throw them all away.
Ms Zhang asked one of her friends, Ms Liu Jie, to accompany her to his flat and they arrived there at around 2am.
Xiao told his ex-girlfriend that her belongings were inside his room, behind the door, and both women walked inside.
But he pushed Ms Liu out of the room and locked the door as he wanted to speak to Ms Zhang alone.
A quarrel broke out between the ex-lovers. Fearing that Xiao would hurt her, Ms Zhang reached out to a side table near a bed and grabbed a kitchen knife that was lying there.
She warned him not to come near but he overpowered her and wrested the weapon away with his hands.
The two scuffled. Xiao chased after her and pushed her down onto the floor. After that, he positioned himself on top of her, the court heard.
"In the midst of the struggle which lasted for a few minutes, (Xiao) used the knife to inflict several injuries on (Ms Zhang), including wounds to her neck. After a while, (she) stopped moving," said DPP Chee.
Ms Liu heard the altercation and her friend shouting in pain, asking her to call the police. Ms Liu knocked on the door and asked Xiao not to create any trouble, but he told her not to bother.
After this, the room door opened briefly and Ms Liu saw Xiao's forearms covered in blood. She then called the police and tried to get help from the other tenants in the unit.
Police officers soon arrived and arrested Xiao. Ms Zhang was rushed to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at around 3.30am.
For culpable homicide not amounting to murder, Xiao could have been jailed for life and caned.
Killer has mental issues
The court heard yesterday that driver Xiao Guiliang, 31, suffers from major depressive disorder with "associated psychotic features".
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Chee Min Ping said this was likely to have been caused by a head injury he suffered in 2010 when an automated carpark gantry descended on his head.
She added that the Chinese national would have to continue psychiatric treatment for at least two years, or longer.
However, she urged Justice Tay Yong Kwang to sentence Xiao to between 10 to 12 years' jail.
"(His) mental condition is not so serious that he had no ability to appreciate the gravity and significance of his criminal conduct," said DPP Chee.
She added: "(He) committed the offence in a particularly depraved manner - he inflicted a total of 192 wounds, many of which were extremely serious injuries.
"The manner in which he attacked her was particularly vicious, which included slashing (her) on her scalp, face, neck and torso. The vicious attack consequently resulted in (her) death due to multiple wounds with features of asphyxia."
Xiao is represented by lawyers Sunil Sudheesan and Diana Ngiam.
Ms Ngiam urged Justice Tay to sentence their client to less than 10 years' jail.
She stressed that it was Ms Zhang Jie's action of holding a knife towards Xiao that sent him "beyond the tipping point".
Ms Ngiam added it is likely that Xiao will be sent home to China upon release.
"(He) has a strong family support system at home and there is no real concern for a risk of relapse of (his) psychiatric condition," she said.
She pointed out that Xiao's actions on July 7, 2013 were uncharacteristic of his "otherwise non-violent disposition".