GEORGE TOWN - The mother of a 36-year-old woman allegedly burned to death by her husband told a High Court here that her daughter had bruises and blood on her face and arms caused by her son-in-law's frequent beatings.
Ching Lai Chee, 70, said Lai Siew Fong would sometimes stay at her place after being hit by her husband.
"I have seen swelling and blood on her many times and each time, I would advise her to stay with me," she said in her testimony yesterday against Chiam Nguang Huat, 41, who is charged with murdering Lai at the couple's home in Taman Bayu Mutiara, Bukit Mertajam, at about 4pm on June 24, 2013.
If convicted, the father of two faces the mandatory death sentence under Section 302 of the Penal Code.
To a suggestion by Chiam's counsel Y. Anbananthan during cross- examination that the whole family disliked the accused because he was a gambler, she replied that they disliked him because he beat Lai often.
She admitted she knew her daughter had three houses registered under her name.
"She was working as a kuih seller at a market, earning RM20 (S$6.50) to RM30 daily," she said.
She initially told the court that she did not know Chiam's occupation but soon divulged she was told he was working as an 'ah long' (moneylender) after the counsel questioned Lai's ability to buy three houses with an average income of RM20 to RM30 daily.
Ching admitted her daughter was still staying with Chiam despite the beatings but denied Anba-nanthan's suggestion that the three houses were registered under Lai's name because Chiam 'sayang' his wife.
The hearing before Judicial Commissioner Datuk Nordin Has-san continues today and tomorrow.