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S’porean Gets Life Imprisonment For Wife’s Murder In Newcastle, Judge Believes He’s Genuinely Remorseful

Fong Soong Hert Sentenced To Life Imprisonment At Newcastle Court, Will Serve At Least 12.5 Years

The headline-making trial of Fong Soong Hert, the Singaporean whose holiday with his wife went wrong, has reached a resolution after eight months.

Accused of murdering his wife in the United Kingdom last year, he pleaded guilty to the crime earlier this week.

He was consequently sentenced to life imprisonment for murder.

Source: Northumbria Police on Facebook

Despite this, the judge felt that Fong was genuinely remorseful for his actions.

Life imprisonment given by Newcastle court on 12 Aug

In a Facebook post on Friday (12 Aug), the Northumbria Police said Fong was handed the life sentence on that day.

Source: Northumbria Police on Facebook

This comes three days after he pleaded guilty to his wife’s murder on 9 Aug, after initially denying the murder charge and admitting to manslaughter instead.

The 51-year-old was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court, not far away from the County Aparthotel in Newcastle where his wife was found dead.

He must spend minimum of 12.5 years behind bars

While a life sentence sounds interminable, the silver lining is Fong may not spend his entire life behind bars.

The minimum amount of jail time he must serve is 12.5 years, said Northumbria Police.

During sentencing, Judge Paul Sloan told him that after that period of time, there’s the possibility of parole, reported The Straits Times (ST).


The court in Newcastle. Source: Google Maps

The UK has no death penalty, which was abolished in 1998, according to its Human Rights Act 1998.

Judge sympathetic towards Fong

The judge was also sympathetic towards Fong in his closing remarks.

He said the sad incident was “utterly and completely out of character”. He was also certain that Fong was “genuinely remorseful” for what he did.

In his earlier testimony in court, Fong said that he’d “snapped” and wanted to stop his wife from nagging him.

He also “lost it” and smothered her with a pillow, he reportedly added.

Couple’s sons dignified amid tragedy

The Northumbria Police had kind words for the couple’s three sons, who would be the people most affected by the incident.

They were thanked for their composure, as well as the dignity they have displayed.

This is despite being “left devastated beyond belief” due to the unimaginable tragedy.

The Northumbria Police said they’ll continue to support them in any way they can, and asked for privacy for them during this time.

Newcastle holiday ended in death & life imprisonment

Fong’s 51-year-old wife, Madam Pek Ying Ling, was pronounced dead by emergency services on 6 Dec last year at the Newcastle hotel.

That was after Fong had called their eldest son, saying, “I hurt your mum. She’s gone.”

At the time of Mdm Pek’s death, the couple was on a 2.5 month-long holiday.

They had left Singapore on 24 Oct and travelled to Abu Dhabi, Croatia, and Scotland before arriving in Newcastle.

Hope sons can begin to heal from this tragedy

Sadly, the conclusion to the tragedy means the three sons have effectively lost both parents.

Thus, while those unacquainted with them can’t do much to help, what we can do is to give them privacy and refrain from making snap judgements about the case.

Hopefully, they will be able to heal in time, and be reunited with their father in at least 12.5 years.

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Featured image adapted from Northumbria Police on Facebook and Facebook.

Jeremy Lee

Analog person making do with a digital world.

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