Man Sentenced for Threatening Violence Against Wife and Child Over Phone Call Volume Dispute

Man Sentenced for Threatening Violence Against Wife and Child Over Phone Call Volume Dispute

Domestic Dispute Escalates: Man Threatens Wife and Child Over Phone Call Volume

In a disturbing turn of events, a 24-year-old man from Singapore faced the consequences of his actions after holding a kitchen knife to his wife's throat and making threats against their infant daughter. The incident unfolded when the man's wife confronted him for speaking loudly on the phone while their baby slept, leading to a confrontation that spiraled out of control.

The man, whose identity remains undisclosed to protect the privacy of the couple's children, was sentenced to three months in jail after pleading guilty to charges of criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt. Additionally, he admitted to a charge under the Computer Misuse Act for disclosing his Singpass details in a separate incident, with three similar charges taken into consideration during sentencing.

The altercation occurred on May 14 last year, just over two months after the couple's marriage, within the confines of their home where the 21-year-old wife was caring for their baby daughter. Tensions arose when the husband began speaking loudly on the phone, prompting his wife to request silence. However, his response to her request was shockingly violent.

According to Assistant Public Prosecutor (APP) Chye Jer Yuan, the man retrieved a kitchen knife and pressed it against his wife's throat, threatening to harm her. He proceeded to physically assault her by grabbing her throat and pushing her head towards a window grille before eventually discarding the knife and leaving the bedroom.

The situation further deteriorated when the wife expressed her intention to take their baby to her mother-in-law's house. In response, the man issued a chilling ultimatum, warning that he would harm the infant if she attempted to leave. Undeterred, the wife resorted to threatening self-harm with the same knife in a desperate bid to escape the volatile situation.

As tensions escalated, the man resorted to physical violence, slapping his wife twice in the face during a heated argument in the kitchen. Fearing for her safety, the wife fled to her mother-in-law's residence nearby, prompting a call to the police to intervene in the domestic dispute.

Upon arrival, paramedics assessed both the wife and the infant, finding evidence of physical injuries on the wife, including swelling and cuts on her forearm. Fortunately, the baby appeared unharmed physically, and she was entrusted to the care of the man's mother following the intervention.

This harrowing incident serves as a stark reminder of the prevalence of domestic violence and the urgent need for intervention and support for victims. It underscores the importance of addressing underlying issues of anger management and conflict resolution within relationships to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.

After the traumatic ordeal involving threats and violence, the aftermath saw both parties undergoing assessments to ascertain their mental and physical well-being. The wife was escorted to the Institute of Mental Health for evaluation before being discharged, while the man, found with abrasions on his finger and arm, was promptly arrested.

Remarkably, this wasn't the man's first brush with illegal activity. In a previous incident, he fell victim to a fraudulent scheme orchestrated by an acquaintance named Sam. Sam enticed him with a dubious business proposal, purportedly involving the establishment of an audio company. Under false pretenses, Sam convinced the man to divulge his Singpass credentials, promising a monetary reward of S$1,050 in return.

Unbeknownst to the man, his Singpass details were exploited by Sam to open a corporate bank account with United Overseas Bank (UOB). This account became a conduit for illicit financial activities, with transactions totaling a staggering S$175,022 debited and S$176,183 credited within a five-day period in November 2021. The suspicious activities came to light when a concerned retiree reported unauthorized withdrawals from his bank account, amounting to S$18,900.

The retiree, hoodwinked by a scammer posing as a Microsoft representative, unwittingly divulged his personal information and Singpass password during a four-hour phone call. Subsequently, funds were siphoned off to various financial platforms, including cryptocurrencies, highlighting the intricate nature of modern-day financial fraud.

The failed attempt to transfer S$19,500 to the UOB bank account linked to the man's Singpass disclosure exposed his complicity in the elaborate scheme. As the prosecution sought a jail term ranging from two to three months for his offenses, it underscored the severity of the situation and the need for stringent penalties to deter such criminal behavior.

This saga serves as a cautionary tale, shedding light on the pervasive threat of scams and the dire consequences of falling prey to deceitful schemes. It underscores the importance of vigilance and skepticism in safeguarding personal information and financial assets in an increasingly digitized world fraught with potential risks and vulnerabilities.

Representing the man embroiled in this distressing case, Mr. Jeyabal Athavan, counsel from RLC Law Corporation, pleaded for leniency in sentencing, citing the incident as an anomaly in his client's behavior. He characterized the attack on the man's wife as a "momentary lapse of judgment" fueled by a sudden outburst of anger and provocation. Mr. Jeyabal contended that his client, overwhelmed by feelings of rage and embarrassment, resorted to wielding the knife in a fit of rage, triggered by his wife's disparaging remarks during a video call with his brother.

Moreover, in defense against the charge of disclosing Singpass details, Mr. Jeyabal argued that his client was oblivious to the legal implications of his actions. However, District Judge Eddy Tham, presiding over the case, emphasized the gravity of domestic violence, stressing its detrimental impact not only on the spouses involved but also on their children.

While acknowledging the spontaneity of the man's actions, Judge Tham underscored the necessity for a punitive sentence to underscore the imperative of exercising restraint and refraining from resorting to violence, particularly within the confines of intimate relationships. He reiterated that ignorance of the law does not absolve individuals of accountability, especially in cases where authorities have widely disseminated information about the risks associated with divulging personal details like Singpass credentials.

Under Singaporean law, criminal intimidation carries a maximum penalty of two years' imprisonment, a fine, or both, while voluntarily causing hurt may result in a prison term of up to three years, a fine of up to S$5,000, or both. Given the nature of the offenses committed within a domestic context, the man could have faced double the maximum penalty for each offense.

Regarding the charge of disclosing Singpass details, the potential penalties include up to three years' imprisonment, a fine of up to S$10,000, or both. Despite the severity of these consequences, it's clear that the court views the offenses with utmost seriousness, underlining the imperative of upholding the sanctity of intimate relationships and adhering to legal obligations, regardless of personal circumstances or emotional turmoil.

In conclusion, while the circumstances surrounding the man's actions may have been fraught with emotion and provocation, the court has underscored the gravity of domestic violence and the imperative of upholding legal responsibilities. Despite arguments of momentary lapses in judgment and lack of awareness, the court has sent a clear message through its sentencing: acts of violence and the reckless disclosure of personal information cannot be condoned, especially within the confines of intimate relationships. As society continues to grapple with issues of domestic abuse and online fraud, it is incumbent upon individuals to exercise restraint, seek help when needed, and adhere to legal obligations to ensure the safety and well-being of all parties involved.