28 year-old Zulkifri Said was sentenced today to 2 years and 3 months for 5 charges of assault and of failing to report the death of his girlfriend, who prosecution lawyers say had been beaten brutally to death by Zulkifri after she disobeyed him.

The court heard that Zulkifri and his deceased girlfriend had started dating in August 2016 and that the deceased had moved into Zulkifri and his mother’s flat.

On 15 September 2016, Zulkifri kicked her out but she refused to leave. That same night, Zulkifri beat her, whipped her with a belt and hit her with clothes hangers in an assault that lasted nearly 2 hours. After the beating, his girlfriend started to shiver uncontrollably and collapsed to the floor. When Zulkifri carried her to the bed, he noticed that her body was stiff and she was having trouble breathing.

“Her right eye was looking straight, but her left eye was looking sideways,” the court was told. The deceased also started foaming at the mouth.

Instead of calling for medical help, Zulkifri simply dressed his girlfriend up to hide the bruises on her face and body and left her to die. When she died, he placed a prayer book on her chest and fled with his mother and their 2 cats. They dropped the cats off at his mother’s sister’s flat in Jurong before taking a taxi at 3.30AM to Johor Baru, where they stayed at a hostel in Larkin for a few days before they ran out of money on 22 September.

They returned to Singapore on 23 September, by which time the victim’s badly decomposed body had been found. As the body was in an advanced stage of decomposition, the deceased’s cause of death could not be determined or directly attributed to Zulkifri, which spared him from the more grievous charge of murder.

“We don’t know if the deceased was actually beaten to death or if the beating led to a stroke or (a fatal) epileptic episode,” prosecutors said, but her last moments “must have been terrifying and painful”.

Zulkifri’s mother was only given a stern warning without any prosecution under the law for not reporting the death of the deceased.

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