Photo of AGC from TOC

In a press release on Monday (Dec 18), the Singapore Attorney General Chambers (AGC) have spoken up defending the convicted couple who abused a mentally disabled lady to her death, claiming that there is not enough evidence to upgrade charges to murder.

Husband and wife duo Pua Huk Chuan, 38, and Tan Hui Zhen, 33, tortured the wife’s childhood friend and housemate, Annie Ee Yu Lian, 26, for over 8 months before she died from her injuries on 12 Apr 2015. Annie Ee had a low IQ when she was alive, and she was first brutally abused – slapped, whipped, strangled, kicked, stepped and had her head hit against the wall – by her friend Tan Hui Zhen in Aug 2014. Her husband Pua Huk Chuan watched and join in to slap Annie Eu.

The abuse continued countless times, with the couple often finding excuses like “lying” and “showering for too long” to beat her up. The attack worsened in March 2015, happening on a daily basis with each abuse lasting as long as 2 hours. The couple would whack Annie Eu on her buttocks with a 1kg shrink wrap roll. The violent abuse resulted in Annie Eu’s skin torn with festered blisters bleeding so much that the couple used sanitary pad to dry and bandage the wound.

On  the morning of the day before she died 12 Apr 2015, Annie Eu tried to commit suicide by cutting her wrist with a pair of scissors. The scissors was taken away but Annie Eu stayed laying in the living room for the day until she was told to return to her room. Annie Eu lost her balance when she stood and fell on the ground, which led to more assaults by Pua Huk Chuan, who told her to “stop acting” before he thrust the shrink wrap roll into her abdomen multiple times. Pua Huk Chuan also slammed a rubbish bin on Annie Eu until it broke.

Annie Eu was found dead in her room in the next morning. When the police arrived, the couple lied about Annie Eu’s injuries and claimed that she committed suicide. In an autopsy report, Annie Eu was also found with 7 vertebrate and 12 rib fractures. The autopsy found that Annie Eu died from a rare cause known as acute fat embolism, caused by the smacking she received on her buttocks. As a result of the blunt force impact on her buttocks, fatty tissue entered her bloodstream and travelled to her lungs, creating a blockage of the blood vessels. This interfered with blood getting oxygen in the lungs, leading to progressive cardiac and respiratory failure.

Police investigations also found that Annie Eu had to suffered severe psychological torments, and she had to live with S$30 a week after handing over her S$1,200 monthly salary to the couple.

The high profile murder case sparked public outrage when the Singapore Courts passed jail and caning sentences for the couple. The husband was jailed 14 years with 14 strokes of the cane, while the wife was jailed 16 years. The Singapore AGC however refused to charge the couple of murder.