Jailed after trying to kill wife with plastic bag, pawning her gold chain
Man, 61, took necklace off her unconscious body and pawned it
After his wife nagged him to resolve their son's marital problems, a 61-year-old jobless man decided to suffocate her.
Govindarajan Thiruvengadam Uthirapathy attacked her from behind, covered her head with a plastic bag and tightened it around her neck until she fell to the floor.
When he realised that she was unconscious but breathing, he took the gold chain around her neck, pawned it and then shared the spoils with his mistress.
Yesterday, Govindarajan was sentenced to three years and three months' jail by the High Court after he pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted culpable homicide.
A charge for stealing his wife's gold chain and wallet containing $300 was taken into consideration.
His wife, hospital nurse Ellapur Selvi Chanthenatever, 56, submitted a letter to the court saying she has forgiven him.
The court heard that the couple married in 1985 and divorced in 1990, but remarried about 10 years later.
They have a son, 33, and a daughter, 32.
On the afternoon of April 6 last year, Madam Ellapur asked Govindarajan to speak to their daughter-in-law, who believed that their son was having an extramarital affair.
Madam Ellapur's complaints to him about their son's problems angered Govindarajan as he felt she was pressuring him to resolve the issues.
He went to the kitchen to grab a plastic bag and approaching Madam Ellapur from behind, he pulled the bag around her neck, repeatedly telling her to die.
When she passed out, he removed the bag and tried to rouse her but she did not regain consciousness.
He helped himself to his wife's valuables, and left the flat without checking on her.
Madam Ellapur later regained consciousness and called her daughter but did not want to report the matter to the police.
She went to work, but her pain intensified and she was hospitalised. Later that night, she told a doctor what had happened to her.
She was hospitalised for seven days.
Meanwhile, Govindarajan pawned the chain for $4,250, spending $209 on gifts for his Malaysian mistress, Ms Tanalechumi Subramaniam, 44. He also gave her $300 and bought items for her aunt.
He planned to leave for Malaysia with Ms Tanalechumi on April 7 but was arrested at Woodlands Checkpoint.
Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Wong Woon Kwong sought a jail term of at least three years and three months, arguing that Govindarajan's decision to kill his wife over a minor disagreement was a disproportionate response.
Defence counsel Raphael Louis asked for a jail term of not more than two years and four months, saying that Govindarajan, who has a history of mental illness, became overwhelmed and stressed when his wife nagged him.