SINGAPORE: A man assaulted and threatened to kill his girlfriend on multiple occasions over three months, holding knives and scissors to her body, hitting her with a kitchen towel holder and choking her.
After accusing his girlfriend of meeting other men, Paartiban Maniam, 30, also smashed her phone, swallowed her SIM card and tore her passport.
He was jailed for seven months and three weeks on Wednesday (Jun 22), a day after pleading guilty to six counts of criminal intimidation, voluntarily causing hurt and mischief.
Another six charges were considered for sentencing. Some of the assaults were committed while he was out on bail.
Maniam, a factory operator, had been in a relationship with his girlfriend, now 38, for two to three years at the time of the offences earlier this year.
They lived together with the victim's uncle until late January. The victim ended the relationship in late February to early March this year.
HIT HER WITH A KITCHEN TOWEL HOLDER
The court earlier heard that on Jan 23, Maniam and his girlfriend got into a fight when he was out having drinks with friends and he accused her of being with another man.
At the void deck of their block, he slapped and punched the victim. At home, he took a knife and hovered it over his girlfriend's thigh, then placed it very close to her neck, threatening to kill her.
He also hit his girlfriend on the head with a wooden kitchen towel holder. She got upset and used it to hit him back.
The victim's uncle tried to break up the fight and eventually called the police. Maniam was arrested in the early hours of Jan 24.
The victim was taken to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a minor head injury and given three days' medical leave.
TORE HER PASSPORT
On Feb 28, the victim was having dinner and talking on the phone when Maniam appeared outside her home. She refused to let him in.
Maniam got upset and managed to forcefully pull her metal gate until it dislodged from the wall. He then entered the unit, took the victim's phone and punched her face.
An argument ensued, during which Maniam took a fruit knife, pointed it towards the victim's chest and said in Tamil: "Today, I will definitely kill you."
He eventually dropped the knife, but then picked up a pair of scissors and pointed it at her stomach while repeating the threat to kill her.
The victim managed to calm him until he dropped the scissors, after which he punched her shoulder. He continued shouting at and punching her while telling her to pack her belongings and leave with him.
He also took her passport and tore it up, then told the victim to follow him. She was scared and followed his instructions.
When they went down to the ground floor, the victim made an excuse that she had forgotten something, and got a passerby to call the police for her. Maniam was arrested again that night.
HELD SHARP OBJECTS TO HER NECK
During the last assault on Mar 11, Maniam asked to meet the victim to return his belongings. When they were at the ground floor of her residence, he pulled her to a car park.
He said that he wanted to kill the victim that day and tried to flag a taxi to Little India, but the victim refused to board the vehicle. He then pulled her to some stone benches.
Maniam took out a metal bottle cap, bit it to make it sharp and held it to the victim's neck.
He checked her phone and accused her of calling other men the previous day. He then swallowed her SIM card and smashed her phone against the bench several times.
He also took out a bottle of soju and tried to swing it towards the victim's head, but it did not hit her. Maniam drank the soju, smashed the empty bottle and placed it near the victim's neck.
"He told her that he would kill her today, and after he killed her, he would kill himself," court documents stated.
Later, he put his right arm around her neck and used his hand to choke her until she felt pain.
Maniam only left when he saw a police car come by on patrol. The victim then approached the police for help.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Seah Ee Wei asked for seven to 10 months' jail, highlighting that Maniam was intoxicated during some of the offences.
"He had assaulted the victim and damaged her property, showing a disregard for her bodily integrity and her property," said the prosecutor.
Those guilty of criminal intimidation can be jailed for up to two years, fined or both.
The penalty for voluntarily causing hurt is jail for up to three years, a fine of up to S$5,000 or both.
Those who commit mischief can be jailed for up to two years, fined or both.