A 43-year-old Thai woman was sentenced to 5 and half years in jail on Thursday for assaulting her live-in boyfriend and stomping him to death after a quarrel. Sukanya Praphuttha, a permanent resident of Singapore, was charged with culpable homicide.
The Thai national pleaded guilty to killing 55-year-old handyman Lee Yang Boo on March 1, 2015 by using her right foot to stomp the left side of his head at their North Bridge Road flat. The High Court heard that sometime during the assault a neighbour heard the Singaporean man, who was 10kg lighter than his girlfriend, shouting "don't beat me" and "stop beating me".
Reports said Praphuttha and Lee had lived together for seven years at the rented flat. They had a tumultuous relationship, which was often marked with quarrels and, at times, physical fights. The couple went drinking with friends at a nightclub on the night of Feb 28, 2015. The problems started when Lee scolded Praphuttha for dancing with a male stranger.
Once they returned home, the couple again quarrelled after having some more drinks. Lee accused Praphuttha of having a sexual relationship with the stranger in the club. Eventually, Praphuttha placated Lee and put him to bed.
Later, when Lee woke up, he continued to hurl vulgarities at Praphuttha and her parents. A scuffle ensued that resulted in Lee laying down on his side on the floor of the bedroom. But as he lay on the floor, Praphuttha stomped on his head with such force that he suffered skull fractures.
Praphuttha said that she had lost her temper as Lee was continuously hurling vulgarities at her. She hit Lee repeatedly on his face, body and limbs. But, later when she was helping Lee onto the bed, Praphuttha noticed that Lee's left ear was bleeding and he was having breathing difficulties.
Praphuttha asked his neighbour for help at around 4:30 am. The neighbours informed the police and took him to the hospital. Lee was pronounced dead at Tan Tock Seng Hospital at about 6.45am. An autopsy report showed that the victim had died due to a head injury. A total of 47 bruises were found all over his body. A medical examination of Praphuttha found a handful of bruises and abrasions.
Initially, she was charged with murder, but later the charge was reduced to culpable homicide that carries a maximum of 10 years' jail.
Mohamed Faizal , Deputy Public Prosecutor argued that Praphuttha had attacked Lee when he was already "down for the count" and asked for at least six years of jail. Faizal said that Lee died a slow and painful death. However, Praphuttha's lawyer, Cheryl Ng, argued that she was triggered to act when Lee insulted her parents.