The man who inflicted prolonged agony on his wife, Lao Mong Ieng, by splashing drain cleaner and cooking oil over her was sentenced yesterday by the Court of First Instance to 13 years, along with the requirement to pay monetary compensation to the victim, totaling nearly 12.9 million patacas.
The case was first handled as a matter of domestic violence by the Judiciary Police. The charge was afterwards altered to “aggravated assault causing serious injuries”. The criminal and civil parts of the lawsuit were combined and handled by a single procedure.
The maximum penalty for this crime is 13 years and four months.
The incident occurred last July when Lao, then 31 years old, sustained serious burns to her head, face and body, causing her to lose her sight among other severe injuries. Lao also lost the ability to eat, due to muscular atrophy in her mouth.
Prior to announcing the judgment, the Judge commented on the suspect’s act. The judge said it “was a horrific act that destroyed the life of both a person and one whole family.” She added that the suspect had expressed no feeling of guilt in any way, nor had he apologized to the victim.
The judge pointed out that during the procedure, the suspect refused to confess to some of the accusations, including the matter of the temperature of the cooking oil he splashed on the victim. He had earlier told the court that it was at room temperature, instead of “boiling oil” as was widely reported.
Additionally, the suspect also argued about his mental state when the incident happened.
However, the judge pointed out that Lao was able to explain the case completely. The judge also reiterated that the court had heard the statements from many parties, including the household’s domestic helper, the victim and her clinical psychologist, as well as others.
The court had also heard from two of Lao’s former superintendents at work, who explained Lao’s attitude at work, her previous salary level and the changes caused to Lao’s appearance.
The judgment was made after the court referenced all available social and medical reports, the judge explained.
According to forensic reports, Lao suffered second and third degree burns to as much as half of her body area and fourth degree burns to her eyes. The court considered it severe harm.
The court explained that all details in the lawsuit have been verified, leading to yesterday’s judgment.
Following the court session, Lao’s father spoke to the press. He said he thought the case was well and fairly reported by the press. Lao’s father also thanked lawmaker Agnes Lam for the assistance she rendered throughout the proceedings, their lawyer and the Good Shepherd Association, who led the donation campaign to support Lao.
It is not clear whether the defendant will appeal the decision at the Court of Second Instance. AL