Gardens by the Bay murder: Woman’s body remained in front seat hours after she was killed
Accused drove around with body next to him while he decided what to do
For hours after she was killed on July 12, 2016, the body of a 31-year-old woman remained in the front passenger seat of a car as it was driven around by a man now accused of murdering her.
The man left the woman's body in the passenger seat till the next morning while the car was parked somewhere inside a Yishun condominium.
The next day, the man continued driving around aimlessly - with the body next to him - thinking of what to do until he decided to burn the body in the afternoon.
Leslie Khoo Kwee Hock, 50, who is accused of murdering Chinese national Cui Yajie, told the High Court yesterday - the fifth day of his trial - of what he did after he had strangled her in the front passenger seat.
He said he had left his car in a different spot from his usual parking space at the Orchid Park condominium - with the seat lowered.
It also emerged in court that Khoo had no driving licence, even though he drove a black BMW that was registered in his wife's name.
Khoo, a manager in a laundry firm, was taking the stand for the first time to give his account of the events and broke down in tears at one point.
"I accidentally done (sic) something wrong. I do not have intention (sic), Your Honour," said Khoo, who was inaudible at times and had to be reminded several times by Judicial Commissioner Audrey Lim to speak into the microphone.
It is not disputed that Khoo spoke to Ms Cui on the phone on the morning of July 12, then started a conference call with his supervisor, and assured Ms Cui he would take her to meet his boss, which he never did.
The prosecution's case is that Khoo, who has a criminal record for cheating, intercepted Ms Cui and then silenced her to stop her from exposing him for cheating her.
But Khoo said Ms Cui was angry at him for spending too much time at work, and she wanted to verify with his bosses if he was really so busy.
He said that when Ms Cui, an engineer, got into his car at Joo Koon MRT station, she began cursing him to "die" while he kept quiet.
He said he tried to calm Ms Cui, who continued to scold and curse him.
Khoo said she used something to hit his arm, and when he pushed her away, she attacked even more.
"We started to struggle," he said, as he began sobbing.
"She shout, I shout, we struggle. I also don't know what happened, after a while, she don't (sic) move any more," he said, as his voice cracked.
Khoo said he then realised that his hand was on her neck.
He tried to shake her and thumped her chest, but she did not move.
He held his fingers in front of his nose to show he checked for breathing.
After driving around aimlessly that day and the next morning, he decided to dispose of the body the following day by burning it instead of burying it.
"I can't bury, I got no strength, so I decide to burn," said Khoo, adding that he "sent" her ashes into the sea a few days later. "I just want her to rest in peace. I prayed for her."
Earlier, two video clips of Ms Cui yelling at Khoo were played in court as the defence sought to show that he had been provoked into killing her.
In one, Ms Cui appeared furious in a video call with Khoo.
She asked him why he posted photos of his wife, whom she believed he had divorced, but not of her on his Facebook.
In the second, Ms Cui was being filmed as she was going through her mobile phone. "Did I allow you to take a video of me?" she could be heard saying angrily.
The videos were recovered from Khoo's mobile phone.