SINGAPORE - When he saw his former girlfriend holding the arm of another man, 30-year-old Xiao Guiliang was filled with jealousy. He demanded that she return to h is flat in Choa Chu Kang to remove her things.
But 24-year-old Zhang Jie did not leave the flat alive. An autopsy found 192 wounds and bruises on her head, neck, chest and limbs.
Yesterday, Xiao, who had major depressive disorder at the time, was sentenced by Justice Tay Yong Kwang to 12 years in jail and six strokes of the cane for killing Ms Zhang in July 2013.
Both were from China.
The lorry driver had originally been charged with murder, although this was reduced to culpable homicide because of his mental condition, Deputy Public Prosecutor Chee Min Ping urged the court to jail Xiao for 10 to 12 years for the brutal way in which he inflicted multiple injuries on his former lover.
She said he refused to accept that the relationship had failed and took out "his hurt feelings in a most depraved and selfish manner".
Ms Zhang had come to Singapore to study in 2007, while Xiao arrived in 2008 to work as a public bus driver. They first met online in late 2009, and were intimate the first time they met in person.
The couple started living together in March 2011, but Xiao went back to his home town in July 2012 after losing his job.
He returned in September 2012 to accompany Ms Zhang for an abortion. After returning to China again, he came back here in November after getting a construction job.
In February 2013, she asked to end their relationship because her mother was against it. He agreed. But they continued to have sex and lived together in his flat for four months before she moved to a neighbouring block.
After midnight on July 7, 2013, seven days after she moved out, Xiao saw her with a man outside Yew Tee MRT station.
He confronted them, and remarked that she was quick to get a new boyfriend, and asked what his relationship with her was.
Xiao said he had been her boyfriend for the past 3½ years. As Xiao and Ms Zhang walked back to their homes, he told her to collect her things from his flat. He called her several times to remind her.
Ms Zhang and her flatmate Liu Jie went to his flat at 2am.
As they walked into his bedroom, he pushed Ms Liu out and locked the door. Xiao started asking Ms Zhang about her new man. He pushed her onto the bed.
Afraid that Xiao would hurt her, she grabbed a knife from a side table, warning him not to come near her. Xiao wrested the weapon from her, and in the ensuing struggle, stabbed her repeatedly, almost severing her windpipe.
Ms Liu called the police when the door opened briefly and she saw Xiao's arms covered in blood and heard Ms Zhang groaning.
Xiao, who suffered slash wounds on his chest and hands, claimed that he drank insecticide to kill himself after stabbing Ms Zhang. But toxicology tests found alcohol, but no poisons, in his blood.
After his arrest, Xiao was found by a government psychiatrist to be suffering from a major depressive disorder with associated psychotic features.
This condition was likely caused by a head injury he suffered in 2010 when an automated carpark gantry fell on his head, said Dr Stephen Phang.
This article was first published on March 4, 2015.
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