Singapore Man on trial for smothering ‘nagging’ wife to death with a pillow was never violent before

Husband accused of murdering his wife by smothering her with a pillow to stop her ‘nagging’ while they were on holiday from Singapore had never been violent towards her in the past, court hears

  • Soong Hert Fong, 51, is in court accused of killing his wife Pek Ying Ling, also 51
  • The couple from Singapore were on holiday Newcastle visiting their son at uni
  • She was found dead at the Country Aparthotel hotel with a pillow over her face
  • Fong texted their son Alonzo: ‘I just lost it. I tried to cover her mouth to shush her’
  • He has ‘no memory’ of killing wife and son says father never ‘laid a finger’ on her

A man from Singapore stands accused of murdering his ‘nagging’ wife by smothering her with a pillow in a hotel room to ‘keep her quiet’ while on holiday in England, a court has heard.

However their son, who they were visiting in Newcastle, told jurors his father Soong Hert Fong, 51, had never ‘laid a finger’ on his mother in the past.

Pek Ying Ling, known as Evelyn Pek, died at the County Aparthotel hotel in Newcastle on December 6 during a European holiday with her husband after travelling from their native Singapore.

Mrs Pek, 51, was found by emergency services lying with her legs hanging over the bottom of the bed and a pillow over her face.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that Fong had told police in the aftermath that he ‘lost it’, and had tried to ‘shush’ his wife so he covered her mouth.

Pek Ying Ling (pictured), 51 and known as Evelyn Pek, died at the County Aparthotel hotel in Newcastle on December 6 during a European holiday with her husband after travelling from their native Singapore

Pek Ying Ling (pictured), 51 and known as Evelyn Pek, died at the County Aparthotel hotel in Newcastle on December 6 during a European holiday with her husband after travelling from their native Singapore

Mrs Pek was found dead County Aparthotel (pictured) in Newcastle in the early hours of December 6 by emergency services lying with her legs hanging over the bottom of the bed and a pillow over her face

Mrs Pek was found dead County Aparthotel (pictured) in Newcastle in the early hours of December 6 by emergency services lying with her legs hanging over the bottom of the bed and a pillow over her face

The couple, who had been married for 27 years, were in the city where their eldest of three sons was studying at university.

The court had heard that after the incident, Fong texted him to say: ‘I have hurt your mother. She’s gone. She’s dead.

‘I just lost it. I tried to cover her mouth to shush her. I just lost it.’

Fong, of Marine Vitsa, Floor Unit, Singapore, denies murder and is being tried by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.

Today, their son Alonzo Fong gave evidence from the stand where he was asked about his parents’ marriage.

In a pre-written statement, Mr Fong said: ‘For my 26 years of life, not once had my dad laid a finger on my mum.

‘There’s never been an argument of physicality even when he was on his medication or when he was stressed.

‘He would always protect my mother.’

Asked if he would change that view after having time to reflect, he said: ‘I’m not changing a word of that.

‘I think I know my father very well. I would never think of any circumstance he would seek to hurt my mother.’

Jurors heard previously that during their stay in the UK, Fong senior had suffered a number of falls which required hospital treatment – including one from roughly 50ft while taking photographs in Scotland.

Prosecutors at Newcastle Crown Court (pictured) argued that Fong smothered his wife Mrs Pek to death after he snapped and lost his temper to stop her 'from scolding him or nagging him or to keep her quiet'

Prosecutors at Newcastle Crown Court (pictured) argued that Fong smothered his wife Mrs Pek to death after he snapped and lost his temper to stop her ‘from scolding him or nagging him or to keep her quiet’

Prosecutor Peter Makepeace QC said that Mrs Pek would ‘scold’ her husband for not taking proper care of himself as he continued to smoke while he was unwell.

When asked about what that meant, their son said: ‘When I say scold – I’m not sure what the understanding is in the UK for that word – but in Singapore it’s mostly like a telling off.

‘For example, if my mum saw my dad doing a certain thing she would ask why, that’s what I meant by the word scold.

‘She would be constantly asking him to be going to hospital to get it checked and stop acting so tough.’

Fong claims he has ‘no memory whatsoever’ of the killing and has diminished responsibility for it.

However, it’s the prosecution’s argument that he smothered his wife to death after he snapped and lost his temper to stop her ‘from scolding him or nagging him or to keep her quiet’.

The trial continues.

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