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S’pore Mother Passes Away After Fight With Sons, Autopsy Reveals She Died From Head Injury

Mother Passes Away After Fight With Sons In Aug 2019

When tempers flare, and fights break out, it can sometimes have serious consequences.

Back in Aug 2019, a 52-year-old woman got into a fight with her two sons, aged 17 and 21.

During the altercation, she was pushed, and her head hit the wall. She later passed away.

On Tuesday (26 Apr), a coroner revealed that she had died of a head injury.

Police have concluded that it is not possible to say with certainty which son was directly responsible for her fatal injury.

Son suspected she was having affair

The woman lived in a three-room flat with her 55-year-old husband and two sons. At the time of the incident, her sons were 17 and 21.

According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), she was the main caregiver for her younger son, who is autistic. He was diagnosed to be minimally verbal and intellectually disabled.

On 16 Aug 2019, her husband left for work at 4.30am.

Her elder son, who suspected his mother was having an affair, saw her lying on the living room sofa. He eavesdropped as she spoke softly into her phone.

After a while, he confronted her about who she was talking to, and a heated argument ensued. He snatched her phone and threw it onto the ground.

The woman then picked the phone up, but her son slapped her, demanding it back. When she refused, he punched her in the face.

Things escalated as they struggled over the phone. The son pushed his mother’s shoulder, causing her to hit her head against the wall.

Following that, she bit his arm, and he retaliated with another punch to her head.

Mother falls during fight with sons

At this point, the younger son entered the living room and hit his elder brother’s shoulder, reported The Straits Times (ST).

The mother then approached her fighting sons but was pushed by her younger son. She fell backwards, and her head hit the wall again.

The 52-year-old managed to get back on her feet but took two steps and fell to the floor. She then had a seizure and vomited. An ambulance was called as the elder son tried to stop her seizures.

At about 6.25am, paramedics arrived and saw the woman lying on her back in the living room. When questioned, the elder son admitted to the fight where he had pushed and punched her.

The unresponsive woman was then conveyed to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. She underwent brain surgery, but her condition deteriorated.

On 16 Aug, the elder son was arrested for causing grievous hurt by a rash act. On 24 Aug 2019, eight days after the fight, the woman passed away.

Elder son has depression, younger son has autism

After the incident, both sons were assessed at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).

The elder son was found to have major depressive disorder.

His symptoms had reportedly started two months before the incident. This was when he had become increasingly upset over his mother’s alleged affair. A psychiatrist shared that his symptoms led to poor judgment, which resulted in his alleged offence.

The younger son was diagnosed with autism before he was five years old.

He could only give his name during the IMH examination. During both the examination and police interviews, he was not capable of meaningful communication.

He was deemed not of sound mind and unfit to plead in court by the psychiatrist, reported CNA.

Elder son given conditional warning

An autopsy report released on Tuesday (26 Apr) revealed that the woman’s cause of death was a head injury.

According to CNA, her injuries were consistent with a direct blow to her head with a blunt object or a fall, causing her head to hit a hard surface.

With these findings, the police concluded it was not possible to tell with certainty which of the woman’s sons was directly responsible for her fatal injury.

The elder son was then issued a two-year conditional warning for voluntarily causing hurt.

No action was taken against the younger son due to his mental state. He had been placed in a home since turning 18 in Nov 2019 and has remained there since.

The State Coroner will issue his findings on 1 Jul.

Hope the family gets the help they need

This was a lamentable tragedy that ended in a mother’s untimely death.

Both the sons, who suffer from mental health issues and mental disabilities, were not of sound judgment during the altercation.

May the woman rest in peace. We hope the family finds closure and the help they need to move forward with their lives.

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Featured image by MS News.

Sabrina Seng

Sabrina is always facing some form of existential crisis but other than that, she's pretty chill.

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