Life sentence for Singaporean man who murdered wife while on holiday in UK
NEWCASTLE (ENGLAND) - A 51-year-old Singaporean was handed a life sentence on Friday (Aug 12) after pleading guilty to smothering his wife to death with a pillow while they were on holiday.
Judge Paul Sloan QC told Fong Soong Hert that he must serve 12½ years in a British prison before the possibility of parole.
In his closing remarks, Judge Sloan said the tragic incident was "utterly and completely out of character" and he had no doubt that Fong is "genuinely remorseful" for his actions.
Fong killed his 51-year-old wife, Madam Pek Ying Ling, on Dec 6 last year at the County Aparthotel in Newcastle, Britain.
He had initially pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denied the charge of murder. However, he changed his plea to guilty on Tuesday, the fifth day of his trial at Newcastle Crown Court.
The couple had been on a months-long holiday from Singapore to Dubai and Europe during which they planned to visit their three sons. But while they were in Scotland, Fong took a bad fall.
The court heard he was on several kinds of medication for the pain.
The day before the murder, Fong had collapsed and the couple had gone to seek treatment for him at an infirmary. On their return to the hotel, they had a meal and discussed a potential change to their holiday plans.
Fong denied remembering what happened between that conversation and waking up the next morning to finding his wife dead. But the jury heard that while in the holding cell after his arrest, Fong was recorded as saying: "I snapped. I just wanted her to keep quiet."