SINGAPORE: A woman who slashed her husband with a kitchen knife during a dispute and threatened to harm their one-year-old son was sentenced to seven months' jail on Thursday (May 16).
Fang Dong Dong, a 29-year-old Chinese national, pleaded guilty to four charges including ill-treating a child, voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon and criminal intimidation, with another five charges taken into consideration.
According to her defence lawyer Yeoh Jean Ann, Fang moved to Singapore in late 2016 to marry her Singaporean husband Chan Sin Kai, 50.
They had a son together who was aged one at the time of the offence.
The family violence began in May last year, when the couple got into a heated dispute in their Yishun condominium unit.
Fang grabbed a kitchen knife, pointing it at her husband and threatening to slash him with it.
When her husband ducked behind the door of the guest bedroom to hide, Fang slashed at the door with her weapon.
The violence escalated several months later on Sep 15, after the family went to a bar to watch a football match.
Fang drank five bottles of beer and began arguing with her husband while in the car on the way home.
When they got home, Fang fetched a knife with a 15cm-long blade from the kitchen and began slashing at her husband, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Eugene Phua.
Mr Chan raised his arms in self-defence, and his wife threw the knife towards him.
He managed to dodge it, but the ceramic knife hit the wall behind him and broke into two pieces.
Mr Chan went to the hospital for treatment, and clinical notes said he had reported that he was assaulted by his wife with various objects.
He said he was giddy after being hit in the head with a kettle, a broom, a stick and a cup, and doctors found a 3cm-long laceration over his elbow and multiple abrasions over his face, upper arm and neck.
HUSBAND MADE POLICE REPORT ONLY AFTER WIFE SLAPPED SON
However, Mr Chan did not make a police report right away.
It was only a month later on Oct 19, 2018, that he did so. This was after he argued with his wife over text messages as she wanted him to buy tickets to Universal Studios Singapore for Halloween, but he could not do so.
Fang grew agitated and took two videos of herself hurling vulgarities at their son and slapping him on his cheek.
She sent the video clips to her husband in order to stop the argument and to make him apologise to her.
Fang then sent more threatening messages to her husband, saying she would "chop their son" if he refused to apologise.
When Mr Chan got home, he checked on his son and found that the boy's cheek was red and swollen.
He made a police report in the wee hours of Oct 19, telling the police about the instances of abuse he had suffered.
Fang's defence lawyer told the court that her client had allegedly been molested by her grandfather and stepfather growing up, and had a difficult childhood.
She studied only up to Secondary 2, said the lawyer, as her family could not afford her education, and suffered from alcohol use disorder.
"Most couples have arguments, isn't it? But it doesn't usually resort to family violence," said District Judge Mathew Joseph.
Fang's lawyer said her client was "all alone in Singapore", away from her friends in China, with Mr Chan her only family member in Singapore.
She added that Fang had no prior convictions in Singapore or China, and was "deeply remorseful", having apologised several times to her husband and child.
The slapping of the boy was "done in a moment of agitation", said the lawyer.
"To me, that's quite despicable," said the judge. "The child was defenceless. Her argument was with her husband, why does she take it out on the child?"
Fang cried in the dock at various points throughout the hearing.
For voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon, she could have been jailed up to seven years or fined.