‘I just snapped’: Trial of Singaporean man accused of murdering wife begins in UK

NEWCASTLE, UK: A court in the UK has heard how a Singaporean man, on trial for murdering his wife, told police he had “snapped”.

Fong Soong Hert, 51, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday (Aug 1), after pleading not guilty earlier this year. His wife Pek Ying Ling was pronounced dead at the County Aparthotel in Newcastle at 7.32am on Dec 6, 2021.

The court heard that the couple, while holidaying in the UK, were captured on CCTV arriving back at their hotel in the early hours of Dec 6.

Several hours later, their eldest son was woken by a call from his father saying: “I hurt your mum. She’s gone.”

The court heard that when the son asked what he meant, Fong replied: “She’s dead.”

According to the prosecution, police arrived at the hotel to find Pek on the bed, showing no signs of life. A post-mortem concluded her injuries were consistent with her being smothered by a pillow.

Fong was arrested. While at a police station in Newcastle, he told officers: “I just snapped. I just wanted her to keep quiet.”

THE TRIAL

On Monday, Fong appeared in the dock behind a screen wearing a grey sweater. He spoke to confirm his name and date of birth.

The jury, made up of 12 people, was sworn in and told they must come to a verdict according to the evidence they are presented with in court. The case is expected to last over a week.

Representing the prosecution, Peter Makepeace QC said the couple had come to the UK following a trip to Dubai and Europe.

While on the Isle of Skye, a small island off the coast of Scotland, Fong experienced a bad fall. He had tripped and fallen down a steep edge while out for a walk on Nov 27.

He managed to walk back to the couple’s hotel, where he was attended to by staff. The court heard an ambulance was called, and Fong was given a mix of painkillers by paramedics before being taken to hospital to be examined.

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

At their next destination, Inverness, Fong found he was still in pain from the fall and went to get checked over again at a second hospital and was discharged.

The couple continued to Edinburgh to meet their eldest son, before travelling together to Newcastle by train.

The prosecution said the family spent time together, going to a football match and sightseeing. During that time, Fong had several falls, and he was checked at hospital again.

After being discharged the couple returned to their hotel. At 12.17am on Dec 6, they were seen on CCTV entering their room. That was the last time Pek was seen alive.

The case continues.