Man jailed for slashing and pouring acid on mistress, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Man jailed for slashing and pouring acid on mistress

Suspecting his girlfriend of cheating on him and blaming her for his financial troubles, a man poured acid on her and slashed her multiple times with a parang.

After he attacked her, he took around 20 sleeping pills so he could die with her.

On Feb 20, Lim Song Chua, 62, pleaded guilty to one charge of attempting to commit culpable homicide and was sentenced to four years’ jail.

The assault on Ms Heng Hwee Chay, now 51, in December 2020 left her with chemical burns on her eyes and back, and lacerations on both her arms.

Deputy Public Prosecutors Ng Jun Chong and Huo Jiongrui said the couple met in 2006 or 2007, when the construction company Ms Heng was working at engaged the services of Kinbo Construction, where Lim was the director and majority shareholder.

It specialises in renovation projects and the construction and maintenance of swimming pools.

In 2013, Lim, who was married, asked Ms Heng to work for Kinbo Construction to handle administrative matters. She agreed, and they became a couple in early 2014.

In 2017, Lim rented a condominium unit in Bedok so they could live together. He would return home to his wife and daughter mostly on Sundays.

The prosecution said the lovers would frequently argue, as Lim felt that his girlfriend was too friendly with other men.

When Lim heard rumours that Ms Heng and a subcontractor, identified in court documents as Ah Tan, were in a relationship, he confronted her, but she denied this.

He continued to suspect she was unfaithful to him.

In 2019, Kinbo Construction suffered financial problems and this worsened during the pandemic in 2020.

Lim resented Ms Heng and saw her as a financial burden, as he had given her around $300,000 throughout their relationship so she could repay debts incurred by her former husband.

On the night of Dec 29, 2020, while Ms Heng was asleep in their bedroom, Lim thought about his company’s financial problems and how his girlfriend could have cheated on him.

On Dec 30 at around 3am, Lim concluded she was the source of his problems and decided to kill her.

The prosecutors said Lim came up with the idea of throwing acid on his girlfriend first so she would be unable to defend herself.

They added: “He did not want her to die so easily, and wanted her to suffer and be in pain. He also wanted to use the acid to disfigure her because of her alleged relationship with Ah Tan.”

Lim went to the kitchen and took a container of around a litre of acid, which he had previously brought home from work to kill cockroaches in the rubbish chute.

He poured the acid into a pail and diluted it with water so he could have more liquid to pour on Ms Heng.

He took the pail and a parang with a 23cm-long blade, which he had purchased to cut trees for his company’s renovation projects, and returned to their bedroom.

Then, he emptied the pail of acid onto his girlfriend’s face.

Ms Heng woke up immediately and, feeling a stinging pain and burning sensation on her face, asked Lim if he had poured acid on her. He replied “good that you know” in Mandarin.

As Ms Heng tried to escape, Lim throttled her. He then slashed her arms seven times with the parang, wanting her to slowly bleed to death.

Ms Heng collapsed on the floor and begged Lim for water to wash her face. He relented and gave her water to wipe her face and some water to drink. He then carried her to the bed.

Shortly after, he swallowed around 20 sleeping pills and lay beside her, intending to die with her.

After some time, the victim heard the accused snoring and realised he had fallen asleep. She tried to escape but fainted outside another room in the unit.

When she regained consciousness, she exited the unit but fainted again in the lift. A neighbour saw her and called the police. Lim was arrested that morning.

An Institute of Mental Health report stated that while Lim had a major depressive episode around the time of the offence, he did not have a psychotic illness nor was he of unsound mind when he attacked Ms Heng.

As a result of the attack, Ms Heng required an emergency scrub down of her upper back burns. The DPPs said some areas of the burn wounds were deep and required regular dressing and medication.

In a medical report dated April 2022, it was stated that Ms Heng did not sustain any disfiguration, impairment or disability as a result of her injuries. 

However, in a victim impact statement, Ms Heng said she had to rely on her friend to feed, bathe and put on clothes daily for a few months. She added that it is “scary” for her to take showers with water splashing directly onto her face.