Woodlands double murder: Accused says wife called him ‘useless’
Before he allegedly killed his pregnant wife, accused murderer Teo Ghim Heng recalled her saying to their daughter: "Zi Ning, look at how useless your father is."
That was the last thing Madam Choong Pei Shan, 39, said to their four-year-old daughter, before the woman and girl were strangled, the High Court heard yesterday.
After the alleged double murder, Teo is said to have spent a week in the Woodlands flat and burnt their bodies.
Their deaths were discovered on Jan 28, 2017, the first day of Chinese New Year, after Madam Choong's family called the police.
In a statement to the police after his arrest, Teo said that on the morning of Jan 20, 2017, his wife had questioned why their daughter was not going to school, after Madam Choong saw that he had changed Zi Ning out of her school uniform.
The former property agent said he told his wife that he did not have money to pay the girl's school fees, and if the girl went to school, it would be embarrassing if she was told to leave.
He said Madam Choong then chided him, saying: "Other families can take care of three kids, you can't even provide for a family with one child, you're so useless."
Teo said he "tuned out" her nagging but that she used "very sarcastic and hurtful words" and he remembered anger slowly building in him. The statement was read out by Teo's defence lawyer, Mr Eugene Thuraisingam, when Madam Choong's brother Gordon was on the stand. Earlier, Mr Choong had described his sister as a "soft" and "kind" person who did not engage others in quarrels.
Most of the proceedings yesterday dwelt on Teo's financial difficulties. The former principal of the Little Tree House childcare centre that Zi Ning attended, Ms Faizahhanimi Ahmad, testified that at the time of the killings, Teo owed fees for two months.
Four former colleagues of Teo also testified that he had borrowed large sums of money from them or requested for salary advances.
They also talked about his gambling habit, saying that he could lose as much as $2,000 during a mahjong session and had placed bets of as much as $700 a week on 4D.
However, they said Teo loved his wife and daughter very much.
The trial continues.
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