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S’porean man accused of murdering wife in England suffocated her with pillow to stop her from ‘nagging’, UK court hears

SINGAPORE — A Singaporean man accused of murdering his wife in a Newcastle hotel in England had suffocated his wife with a pillow to stop her from "nagging him", the British media reported on Monday (Aug 1).

Fong Soong Hert, a Singaporean, is accused of killing his wife Pek Ying Ling (pictured) while they were on holiday in England.

Fong Soong Hert, a Singaporean, is accused of killing his wife Pek Ying Ling (pictured) while they were on holiday in England.

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SINGAPORE — A Singaporean man accused of murdering his wife in a Newcastle hotel in England had suffocated his wife with a pillow to stop her from "nagging him", the British media reported on Monday (Aug 1).

Fong Soong Hert, 51, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter on March 18 but he denied a charge of murdering his wife, Pek Ying Ling, who was also aged 51, British broadcaster BBC reported.

Pek was found dead at the County Aparthotel on Westgate Road, Newcastle, on Dec 6 last year. Fong was later arrested as a suspect.

A post-mortem concluded that her injuries were consistent with her being smothered by a pillow, CNA reported.

Fong was later quoted as having told the Newcastle police, "I just wanted her to keep quiet".

The couple had been on holiday in Europe to visit their children when Pek died.

BBC reported on Monday that the Newcastle Crown Court was told that Fong had murdered his wife in their hotel room on the morning of Dec 6 just hours before they were due to fly to Paris.

Fong then called his son who was at a university in Newcastle and told him: "I have hurt your mother. She's gone. She's dead."

Fong was quoted as saying: "I just lost it. I tried to cover her mouth to shush her. I just lost it.”

Prosecutor Peter Makepeace QC said that there was no known history of violence between the couple, but Pek was not happy that Fong had continued to smoke while he was unwell, after Fong suffered several falls during their trip and had to visit a hospital in Newcastle.

Mr Makepeace said that Fong may have knelt on his wife's shoulders during the attack to achieve the required force to kill her.

Fong claimed that he had "no memory whatsoever" of the killing and had diminished responsibility for it, an argument Mr Makepeace rejected.

The prosecutor added: “He lost his temper, he snapped and he smothered her to death, apparently to stop her scolding him or nagging him or to keep her quiet."

SEVERAL FALLS DURING TRIP

CNA reported that Fong had appeared in the dock wearing a grey sweater and speaking only to confirm his name and date of birth.

During the time in England, he had tripped and fallen multiple times, the court heard. The first was on Nov 27 last year, while the couple was on the Isle of Skye, a small island off the coast of Scotland.

After falling down a steep edge while out for a walk, he managed to return to the hotel, where he was attended to by staff members. Fong was given a mix of painkillers by the paramedics before being taken to hospital to be examined.

He was kept in hospital overnight and discharged the next morning, before the couple continued their journey around Scotland in a rental car.

Later on, Fong went to another hospital for a check because he was still in pain from the fall, the court heard.

The prosecution said that the couple continued to Edinburgh to meet their oldest son, and then later to Newcastle by train. The family spent time together, going to a football match and sightseeing. In that time, Fong had several falls requiring him to visit the hospital again.

The court then heard that the couple returned to their accommodation at the County Aparthotel after Fong's discharge from the hospital. They were seen on security surveillance cameras entering their room at 12.17am on Dec 6, the last time that Pek was seen alive.

The maximum penalty for either murder or manslaughter in Britain is life imprisonment. The hearing continues and is expected to last over a week.

Related topics

crime death manslaughter murder wife husband Newcastle England hotel

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