ITE murder: Retiree who stabbed ex-wife sentenced to life imprisonment

SINGAPORE – A retiree who stabbed his former wife to death at a carpark at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central campus was sentenced to life imprisonment on Wednesday (Sept 22).

Seet Cher Hng was convicted of a reduced murder charge last week, after he indicated that he would not be contesting the charge.

The 69-year-old had been demanding money from ex-wife, Ms Low Hwee Geok, 56, before the incident. He believed the money was due to him after their divorce.

The High Court heard that he had even engraved on a knife dates on which he believed he had caught her having an affair.

The knife was one of three that he took along with him when he ambushed Ms Low at the Ang Mo Kio campus and confronted her inside her car at about 7.30pm on July 19, 2018.

A struggle ensued and as she tried to get away from him, he stabbed her eight times. He then stabbed himself 13 times on his upper torso and collapsed on top of her.

It was revealed in court that he told passersby “let me die, don’t save me”.

A forensic pathologist said each of the three wounds to Ms Low’s left upper chest, left mid-back and left lower back was sufficient to cause death.

He was initially charged with murder under Section 300(a) of the Penal Code, which carries the mandatory death penalty.

Last month, the prosecution amended the charge to murder by intentionally causing fatal injuries, under Section 300(c). This charge carries the death penalty or life imprisonment.

Prosecutors said they were not objecting to a life sentence for Seet.

At the time of the murder, Seet was retired from his job at ITE Headquarters and relying on monthly Central Provident Fund payouts.

Ms Low was divisional director of the examinations division at ITE College Central.

The couple married on April 7, 1993, and were divorced on June 13, 2011. They had a daughter together.

The court heard that Seet, who is twice divorced, blamed Ms Low’s alleged infidelity for their marriage ending and was unhappy with the division of their matrimonial assets.

He believed he did not receive his fair share of the sales proceeds of a condominium unit in Corporation Road which the couple had jointly purchased while married.

Between 2011 and 2018, he made numerous demands via e-mail to Ms Low for a sum varying from $200,000 to $500,000 as his share of the proceeds as well as “compensation” for the alleged infidelity.

Some time before Chinese New Year in 2018, Seet left a letter on the windscreen of Ms Low’s car, demanding $500,000 and threatening to start legal proceedings.

Ms Low did not respond to his demands, and Seet became increasingly isolated and upset.

Ms Low, 56, was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

On July 19, 2018, Seet collected a car he reserved through a car-sharing site, and drove to the ITE campus. He brought along a haversack that contained, among other things, three knives, a spanner and a note addressed to the police.

He had one of the knives engraved with “010609” and “020609” on the blade as a reminder of the dates that he believed he caught Ms Low having an affair.

He arrived at the carpark at about 4.40pm and waited for Ms Low. At about 7.30pm, when he saw Ms Low approaching her car, Seet got out of his vehicle and walked quickly towards her.

As she got into her car, Seet entered through the front passenger side. Ms Low screamed loudly when she saw Seet, who then grabbed her arm to stop her from getting out of her car.

She managed to break free after a brief struggle but fell as she stepped out of the car. Seet then ran towards her and stabbed her multiple times.

A call was made to the police at about 7.45pm. Ms Low was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Seet was taken to hospital, where he underwent surgery for abdominal injuries and was placed in intensive care until July 25, 2018.