Singapore

Man on trial for killing girlfriend says he wants to be hanged

A Bangladeshi painter, who strangled his Indonesian girlfriend after she refused to leave a new man she was seeing, told the High Court yesterday that they had promised at a mosque to marry each other.

Ahmed Salim, 31, had even put a ring on her finger at a party with his friends in 2017. A picture of the event was shown to the court.

"I treated her as my wife, I never looked at any other woman... the clothes she wore, the things she had, were bought with my money," he said through a Bengali interpreter.

Ahmed is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend of six years, domestic worker Nurhidayati Wartono Surata, 34, in a room at the Golden Dragon Hotel in Geylang on Dec 30, 2018.

In his police statements, Ahmed said he decided to kill Nurhidayati after finding out about her new boyfriend on Dec 9.

He told the police he killed her with a rope because it was easy to keep in his pocket, compared to sharp weapons like knives.

The defence contends that his mental responsibility for the killing was reduced due to a psychiatric disorder and that he had been provoked.

Taking the stand yesterday, Ahmed said he had been angry with Nurhidayati for cheating on him many times, but he let it go because he loved her.

The breaking point came when she told him her new boyfriend was better in bed than him, and he strangled her with a towel from the hotel. He then removed the towel and wound the rope around her neck.

Ahmed broke down when his lawyer Chooi Jing Yen asked him to describe his mental state when he was giving his police statements.

He said he knew he would be hanged. "I also want to be hanged. She has died and I also want to die. I don't want to live. Everything is finished for me."

When Judicial Commissioner Mavis Chionh asked who "she" was, Ahmed started crying and replied: "The person who died, I don't want to say her name."

He cried again when he told the court that the female investigating officer taking his statement reminded him of his dead girlfriend. "When I saw her, I hated myself so much that because of a woman, I destroyed my life, I destroyed that person.

"I came to Singapore and I destroyed everything."

The trial continues.

COURT & CRIME