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SINGAPORE, April 8 — He first hit his wife after an argument when they were home, fracturing her index finger in the process.
Just two months later, Mohamad Farali Khan Ismail Khan grew angry when she accidentally called him by her son’s name.
While at the void deck of his godbrother’s public housing block, Farali slapped her and swung her by the hair into a nearby rubbish bin. He later hurled vulgar phrases at police officers who came to the scene.
Today, the 31-year-old Malaysian man was jailed one year and fined S$4,000 for his actions. He remains married to his Singaporean wife — Rajagopal Susilah, 52.
He pleaded guilty in a district court to one count each of causing grievous hurt and causing hurt to Susilah, as well as using abusive language on a public servant.
The first two charges fell under newly enhanced provisions that kicked in on Jan 1 last year, which doubled penalties for victims in close relationships with accused persons.
A fourth charge of leaving his home without a reasonable excuse during the circuit breaker period from April to June last year, which was in place to limit the spread of Covid-19, was taken into consideration for sentencing.
The court heard that he first targeted his wife on March 8 last year, following an argument while they were in their bedroom. He had just drunk alcohol and claimed during the argument that she was nagging at him.
He then hit her head with his open palm three times. When she tried to block the blows with her hand, he hit her hand again another three times, fracturing her right index finger.
On her request, Farali drove her to Sengkang General Hospital.
Then, around midnight on May 25 last year, the couple arranged to visit Farali’s godbrother to deliver homemade food to his godparents. Farali drank some alcohol again before his wife drove them over.
After completing their task at around 1.40am, the couple left the flat and headed to the lift when Farali grew angry.
His wife had wanted to call him “Bee” but mistakenly called him “Sarvin” — the name of her son whom she had had with her first husband, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Gabriel Lim told the court.
When they exited the lift at the ground floor, Farali slapped his wife’s cheeks, pulled her backwards by grabbing her hair, and swung her. She hit a nearby green dustbin, sustaining a bruise on her cheek and jawbone.
Farali then walked away and began smoking a cigarette while drinking a can of beer.
She went back to Farali’s godparents’ home to get help and advice, but he subsequently convinced her to leave with him.
As they were leaving, he started behaving aggressively again so she went back up. He joined her on her request and started scolding her along the common corridor.
Farali’s godbrother proceeded to call the police.
Two police officers arrived and separated the couple.
While a policewoman was trying to record a statement from Ms Rajagopal, Farali approached them and insisted to speak to his wife but the policewoman warned him to keep a safe distance away.
Agitated, he continued approaching them. The police officer then placed him under arrest, which prompted him to shout vulgarities at her.
He also told her in Cantonese: “Whole family die”. When she handcuffed him and held onto him, he added: “Eh, I can feel your ass, so fluffy.”
Courts do not condone spousal violence: Judge
DPP Lim sought the sentence imposed, while Farali’s lawyer SS Dhillon asked for a shorter eight-month jail sentence.
In mitigation, Dhillon told the court that Farali came to Singapore when he was 18, got a job, fell in love with Ms Rajapopal and married her. They have no children together.
“Both offences were committed under alcohol intoxication. Otherwise, he and his wife share a very cordial relationship. The wife actually wrote to the IO (investigation officer) to indicate she does not want to proceed with the charges against (him), but he’s still being charged,” the lawyer added.
Dhillon also noted that Farali would be deported to Malaysia, is willing to undergo rehabilitation for his alcohol use, and has not been violent to his wife since.
“I’m instructed to tell the court that he is shameful and remorseful and he has since changed,” Dillon added.
In sentencing Farali, District Judge Shaifuddin Saruwan warned that the courts do not condone spousal violence.
“Your counsel tried to say you were remorseful afterwards because you sent her to the hospital, but as far as the court is concerned, that was the least you could do, having assaulted her in that manner.
“There is very little evidence of remorse because two months after, you proceeded to assault her again by slapping her. And now you try to hide under the cover of intoxication,” the judge added.
For voluntarily causing hurt, Farali could have been jailed up to three years or fined up to S$5,000, or punished with both.
Offenders who voluntarily cause grievous hurt can be jailed up to 10 years and fined or caned.
These punishments could have been doubled as the offences were committed against a person with whom he was in an intimate relationship.
For using abusive words towards a public servant, he could have been jailed for up a year or fined up to S$5,000, or both. —TODAY