Man sentenced to death for strangling girlfriend in Geylang hotel
He strangled the Indonesian domestic worker with a towel after she refused to leave another man
A Bangladeshi worker was sentenced to death yesterday for murdering his girlfriend of six years after she refused to leave another man she was seeing.
Ahmed Salim, 31, had strangled Indonesian domestic worker Nurhidayati Wartono Surata, 34, in a room at the Golden Dragon Hotel in Geylang on Dec 30, 2018.
Yesterday, Judicial Commissioner Mavis Chionh convicted him of murder.
Ahmed showed no reaction as he was sentenced to death.
Ahmed and Ms Nurhidayati began a relationship in May 2012 after a chance encounter.
In November 2017, they agreed to get married in December 2018.
In mid-2018, Ms Nurhidayati began a relationship with Mr Shamin Shamizur Rahman, a Bangladeshi plumber.
Upon knowing this, Ahmed asked his friend and mother to help him look for a wife in Bangladesh.
The pair reconciled sometime around July 2018 and continued seeing each other despite Ahmed's betrothal.
The pair also quarrelled over Ms Nurhidayati's relationship with Mr Shamin, and on one occasion, Ahmed pressed a towel on the victim's mouth during a quarrel.
Sometime in late 2018, Ms Nurhidayati started talking to another man, Mr Hanifa Mohammad Abu, a Bangladeshi general fitter working here.
She told Ahmed she had a new boyfriend and that he should return to Bangladesh for his arranged marriage.
On Dec 23, she decided to break up with him, but they arranged to meet at the hotel seven days later.
At about 5pm on Dec 30, they met at the hotel, where they had sex and Ahmed unsuccessfully tried to persuade Ms Nurhidayati to leave Mr Hanifa.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Hay Hung Chun said he repeatedly threatened to kill her if she did not leave Mr Hanifa, and when she refused, he strangled her with a towel.
Blood flowed from her ear, but he pulled even harder until she became motionless.
He then wound a rope around her neck with a few knots, and "twisted her head from left to right for good measure".
During the trial, Ahmed had argued that he was provoked by humiliating words that Ms Nurhidayati had said to him.
But Ms Chionh rejected this and said in her oral grounds that Ahmed had made no mention of this in his multiple police statements, and that these allegations had only surfaced after 11/2 years after the killing.
She said: "I agree with the prosecution that the accused's story of the 'humiliating words' was precisely that: a story concocted more than a year after the event to give him a basis for claiming he had been provoked."
While he has adjustment disorder, she said it did not substantially impact his mental responsibility.
She also found that Ahmed had a premeditated plan to kill the victim, and his actions before, during and after the killing had "demonstrated premeditation, cogent planning and methodical execution".
She noted how he kept a rope with him and had brought it to the hotel, and also cleared out his bank account before the killing.
Defence lawyers Eugene Thuraisingam, Chooi Jing Yen and Hamza Malik said Ahmed intends to appeal the court's decision.