SINGAPORE: A man repeatedly assaulted and threatened to kill his girlfriend over three months, holding knives and scissors to her body, hitting her with a dishcloth holder and choking her.
After accusing his girlfriend of dating other men, Paartiban Maniam, 30, also smashed her phone, swallowed her SIM card and tore up her passport.
He was jailed for seven months and three weeks on Wednesday June 22, a day after pleading guilty to six counts of criminal intimidation, willfully causing injury and mischief.
Six other charges were considered for sentencing. Some of the assaults were committed while he was out on bail.
Maniam, a factory operator, had been in a relationship with his girlfriend, now 38, for two to three years at the time of the crimes earlier this year.
They lived with the victim’s uncle until the end of January. The victim ended the relationship between late February and early March this year.
HIT IT WITH A KITCHEN TOWEL HOLDER
The court heard earlier that on January 23, Maniam and his girlfriend got into a fight while he was having a drink with friends and he accused her of being with another man.
On the empty deck of their block, he slapped and punched the victim. At home, he took a knife and swung it over his girlfriend’s thigh, then placed it very close to her neck, threatening to kill her.
He also hit his girlfriend on the head with a wooden towel rack. She got mad and used it to hit him back.
The victim’s uncle tried to break up the fight and eventually called the police. Maniam was arrested in the early hours of January 24.
The victim was taken to hospital where she was diagnosed with mild head trauma and given three days of sick leave.
TORN HIS PASSPORT
On February 28, the victim was eating dinner and talking on the phone when Maniam appeared outside her home. She refused to let him in.
Maniam got angry and managed to forcefully pull her metal door until it came off the wall. He then entered the unit, took the victim’s phone and punched her in the face.
An argument ensues, during which Maniam takes a fruit knife, points it at the victim’s chest and says in Tamil, “Today I will definitely kill you.”
He finally dropped the knife, but then picked up a pair of scissors and pointed it at her stomach while repeating the threat to kill her.
The victim managed to calm him down until he dropped the scissors, after which he punched him in the shoulder. He continued to yell at her and punch her while telling her to pack up and go with him.
He also took his passport and tore it up, then told the victim to follow him. She got scared and followed his instructions.
When they went downstairs, the victim explained that she had forgotten something and asked a passerby to call the police for her. Maniam was again arrested that night.
KEEPING SHARP OBJECTS ON YOUR NECK
During the last attack on March 11, Maniam asked to meet the victim to return his belongings. When they were on the ground floor of his residence, he pulled her to a parking lot.
He said he wanted to kill the victim that day and attempted to flag down a taxi in Little India, but the victim refused to board the vehicle. He then dragged her to stone benches.
Maniam took out a metal bottle cap, bit it sharp, and held it against the victim’s neck.
He checked her phone and accused her of calling other men the day before. He then swallowed his SIM card and repeatedly smashed his phone against the bench.
He also pulled out a bottle of soju and tried to swing it at the victim’s head, but she didn’t hit it. Maniam drank the soju, smashed the empty bottle, and placed it near the victim’s neck.
“He told her he would kill her today, and after he killed her he would kill himself,” court documents said.
Later, he put his right arm around her neck and used his hand to strangle her until she felt pain.
Maniam only left when he saw a police car on patrol. The victim then turned to the police for help.
Deputy Attorney General Seah Ee Wei asked for seven to 10 months in jail, pointing out that Maniam was drunk during some of the offences.
“He had assaulted the victim and damaged his property, showing contempt for his physical integrity and his property,” said the prosecutor.
Those guilty of criminal intimidation can be imprisoned for up to two years, fined, or both.
The penalty for willfully causing injury is imprisonment for up to three years, a fine of up to S$5,000 or both.
Those who commit misdeeds can be imprisoned for up to two years, fined, or both.