Singapore

Man killed wife after having delusions she cheated on him

Bus driver pleads guilty after murder charge is reduced to culpable homicide because of his disorder

A bus driver, who held delusions that his wife of 28 years was cheating on him and stabbed her to death at their Loyang condominium in 2017, pleaded guilty in the High Court yesterday to a reduced charge of culpable homicide.

The prosecution is seeking 12 years' jail for Krishnan Raju, 53, while the defence is asking for eight years. He was originally charged with murder for repeatedly stabbing Madam Raithena Vaithena Samy, 44, an operations executive, on the night of Oct 26, 2017, at their Loyang Gardens condominium home.

She suffered 13 stab wounds, including five to the chest that were fatal.

The charge was reduced after he was diagnosed by an Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist with a type of delusional disorder in which the sufferer is preoccupied with the thought that his spouse is unfaithful without any real proof.

Dr Cheow Enquan found that Krishnan's disorder, which is also known as morbid jealousy, had substantially impaired his mental responsibility for the killing.

The court heard that the couple's relationship started breaking down in December 2016.

Krishnan stalked her, checked her phone and underwear, and also made allegations about her infidelity in front of other family members. Following an argument in October 2017, in which he threatened suicide, Madam Raithena slept in her daughter's room.

He then planted an audio recording device in that room to listen to his wife's conversations.

On the night of Oct 26, Krishnan started drinking as he listened to a recording. He suspected she was having an affair with "Saravanan", a name she had mentioned in the recording.

When Madam Raithena returned home from work and took a shower, Krishnan entered the bathroom and stabbed her with a kitchen knife.

He then dragged her out to listen to the audio clip, but she struggled and begged him to stop. Krishnan then stabbed her repeatedly until she stopped moving.

After leaving the flat, he sent a text message to his family members seeking forgiveness and fled to Johor Baru.

His daughter and nephew found Madam Raithena's body at about midnight. Krishnan returned to Singapore the next morning and surrendered himself.

Police investigations revealed that Madam Raithena was having an affair, but none of her family members or friends knew about it. This, however, did not affect the diagnosis.

Dr Cheow noted that despite not having concrete evidence, Krishnan had an intense belief that she was having an affair.

Krishnan will be sentenced at a later date.

COURT & CRIME