Woman jailed for starting fire that burnt boyfriend, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Woman jailed for starting fire that burnt boyfriend

A woman who started a fire that left her then boyfriend with burns on 15 per cent of his body was sentenced to a year and seven months’ jail on May 20.

In March after a trial, Daljeet Kaur Dharam Chand, 35, was convicted of one of count of rashly contributing to the risk of causing a fire in her Sembawang rental flat.

Mr Premraj Ragoo, then 32, who was her boyfriend at the time of the offence in September 2021, suffered burns including on his back and left buttock.

The prosecution told the court in earlier proceedings the Malaysian became depressed after the incident and has permanent scarring on his arms.

The couple had lived together in the rental flat and they are believed to have split up.

In his submissions filed in February, Deputy Public Prosecutor Jonathan Tan told the court: “On Sept 6, 2021, the victim resolved to leave the flat and, in all likelihood, his relationship with the accused.”

According to the prosecutor, Kaur became angry and rashly lit two matchsticks in the flat after pouring thinner on the floor, causing the fire that resulted in hurt to Mr Premraj.

DPP Tan also said that Kaur was a possessive lover and had sought to win Mr Premraj’s devotion through emotional manipulation, adding: “She offered the victim complete financial provision, an offer that he found too good to refuse. Over time, she normalised unhealthy control and oversight.

“When disputes arose, she threatened to kill herself. The resultant toxic relationship was a ticking time bomb.”

Court documents stated that Kaur decided to stage an elaborate stunt by buying thinner and matches when Mr Premraj wanted to leave on Sept 6, 2021.

DPP Tan said that Mr Premraj appeared nonchalant and an enraged Kaur poured the thinner on the floor.

The prosecutor also told the court that an intoxicated Mr Premraj had sought to defuse the situation by snatching the thinner from Kaur.

But when she resisted, he resorted to “staging his own stunt” by pouring the flammable liquid on himself.

Mr Premraj started losing consciousness due to his intoxicated state and inhalation of fumes from the thinner. He then sat down outside a bedroom.

DPP Tan had said: “At or around the time he passed out, the accused rashly and inconceivably decided to light two matchsticks while standing in the kitchen area.

“While the matchsticks were still burning, she failed to hold on to them. They dropped (and) caught fire with the thinner. The fire spread towards the victim and engulfed him in flames.”

Kaur was represented by lawyer Asoka Markandu, and during the trial, the defence claimed Mr Premraj had started the fire.

Among other things, the defence said Kaur had dropped the matchsticks after the fire started and that Mr Premraj had been holding a lighter.

However, the prosecution said these two points were fabricated afterthoughts, stressing that Kaur had earlier admitted in two of her statements to the authorities to starting the fire.

The court heard that Mr Premraj declined surgery as he could not pay for it.

Instead, he returned to Malaysia with his burns bandaged and recovered on his own, incurring expenses of over RM2,000 (S$570).