S’porean on trial for killing wife in UK by smothering her with pillow says he just wanted her to be 'quiet'

His trial is expected to last over a week.

Syahindah Ishak | August 02, 2022, 06:22 PM

Fong Soong Hert, the 51-year-old Singaporean man who is accused of murdering his wife in a Newcastle apartment hotel, currently stands on trial.

Fong had previously denied one charge of murdering his wife, Pek Ying Ling, but he pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

According to CNA, Fong appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday (Aug. 1) wearing a grey sweater. His case was heard by a 12-member jury.

"I just snapped"

Fong killed Pek on the morning of Dec. 6, 2021, at the County Aparthotel in Westgate Road, Newcastle.

According to the BBC, the incident occurred hours before the couple was due to travel to Paris. They were on holiday.

The BBC further reported that after Fong killed his wife, he called his son, who was studying in a university in Newcastle, and said: "I have hurt your mother. She's gone. She's dead."

He added, according to the BBC: "I just lost it. I tried to cover her mouth to shush her. I just lost it."

Emergency services later arrived at the hotel to find Pek unconscious on the bed with a pillow over her face. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

CNA reported that Pek's injuries were consistent with her being suffocated by a pillow.

Fong was subsequently arrested on suspicion of murder and later told the police, as reported by CNA and the BBC: "I just snapped. I just wanted her to keep quiet."

During the trial, prosecutor Peter Makepeace QC said that there was no known history of violence between Fong and Pek.

According to The Straits Times (ST), Fong and Pek were married for over 27 years, and have a registered address at a condominium in Marine Vista.

ST also reported that Pek and Fong were both involved in the events industry in Singapore.

She scolded him for not taking care of himself

Although there was no history of violence between the couple, it was revealed in court that Pek was known to scold her husband, the BBC reported.

According to CNA, Fong had injured himself on Nov. 27, 2021, after experiencing a bad fall while he and Pek were on the Isle of Skye.

He was later taken to hospital to be examined.

According to the BBC, Fong had three further falls during the couple's holiday and was checked again at a hospital in Newcastle.

This led to Pek scolding him for not taking care of himself.

Prosecutor Makepeace said in court that Pek was also not happy that Fong continued smoking while he was unwell.

Claimed he had no memory of the killing

Makepeace argued that Fong might have knelt on Pek's shoulders to "achieve the required force to kill her", the BBC reported.

However, Fong claimed he had "no memory whatsoever" of the killing and had diminished responsibility for it.

Makepeace rejected Fong's argument and said, as reported by BBC: "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."

According to CNA, Fong's trial is expected to last over a week.

The maximum penalty for either murder or manslaughter in Britain is life imprisonment.

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Top image via Northumbria Police/FB.