A Singaporean women who spent a year in a jail for poisoning her husband is to receive a lower share of the couple’s assets in their divorce.
Madam Fong Quay Sim, now in her 70s, was convicted in 2010 of poisoning her husband by putting arsenic in his food, The Straits Times reports. He became seriously ill and she spent a year in jail.
The couple were married for 34 years and have an adult son now living in Hong Kong. Her husband, a now retired contractor, filed for divorce in 2011. Madam Fong counterclaimed, alleging that he had been abusive towards her.
Judges at the Court of Appeal of the Republic of Singapore have now ruled that there should be a seven per cent reduction in the share of the matrimonial assets awarded to Madam Fong.
Judge of Appeal Andrew Phang declared this week:
“It was plain to us, on the facts of the present case, that the wife’s misconduct was so extreme and undisputed that it fell to be considered in determining what would be a just and equitable division of the matrimonial assets.”
The case went to the Court of Appeal when Madam Fong was awarded 42 per cent of the couple’s assets at an earlier hearing. He appealed, saying his wife’s crime should be taken into account in the divorce settlement, and suggested a 20 per cent share of the couple’s estimated total assets of Singaporean $2.1 million (£1,041,686).
Her defence counsel, meanwhile, argued that reducing the amount she received in the settlement would amount to punishing her twice for the poisoning as she had already served a jail term.
But the judges concluded that if they did not take the wife’s crime into account, “the public might think that we had taken leave of our senses”.
Consequently, Madam Fong’s share of the matrimonial assets was reduced by S$113,000 to $769,000 (£381,455).
Read the Court of Appeal judgement here.