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Circuit Road murder trial: Accused believed nurse was his girlfriend, spent money on her for years

Boh Soon Ho, now 51, had deluded himself into believing that nurse, Zhang Huaxiang, who was 28 at the time of her murder in 2016, were in a romantic relationship

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Singapore—At the trial of Boh Soon Ho on September 19, Thursday, it was revealed that he told police after he was arrested that for years he had spent money on the woman he was accused of killing, but had gotten nothing.

Boh has been accused of killing a nurse and attempting to have sex with her dead body.

Mr Boh, now 51, had believed that he and Zhang Huaxiang, who was 28 at the time of her murder in 2016, had been in a romantic relationship, even though Ms Zhang never confessed any feelings for him, nor had there been any physical intimacy between them.

They had known each other for several years, and had gone shopping and had meals together.

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Mr Boh is on trial for having killed Ms Zhang on March 21, 2016 at his apartment in Circuit Road, after the nurse had told him about her intimate relationship with her former boyfriend. He had also confronted her about a man he had seen with her in a taxi just a few days prior to her murder, and she told him she had gone out on dates with him.

On the day she was killed by Mr Boh, he had also attempted to become sexually intimate with her, but the nurse refused him.

After killing Ms Zhang he fled to Malaysia, where he was given assistance by his younger sister, who lived in Malacca. But Mr Boh maintained communication with his landlord in Singapore, who coordinated it with the police. This eventually led to his capture in Malaysia, and he was returned to Singapore.

The High Court heard a statement Mr Boh had made to the police on April 5, 2016, on the day of his return to the country.

He had said, “I questioned myself why did I provide for her and spend money on her for the past four to five years and yet I ended up with nothing.

I told myself if I were to strangle Huaxiang, it would be the end of me.”

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After thinking along these lines for a few minutes, he took a towel and then strangled Ms Zhang to death.

Stephen Phang, a forensic psychiatrist at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) testified concerning Mr Boh’s mental state at the time of the murder.

The Straits Times (ST) reports Dr Phang as saying that Mr Boh was in a “cool, deliberate, contemplative” state of mind and that “he was considering options and exercising judgment.”

The forensic psychiatrist added that Mr Boh did not suffer a mental disorder or any other mental illness. The accused had said to Dr Phang that he was curious about Ms Zhang, since he had never before seen her naked body, and that the accused told the forensic psychiatrist in detail what he did to the nurse after he had killed her.

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Dr Phang said, ”His self-confessed sexualised acts with the deceased’s body are clearly indicative that he was purposeful in his pursuits for personal pleasure.”

He added, “In layman’s terms, he got angry, he lost his temper at that moment.”

Justice Pang Khang Chau asked Dr Phang if Mr Boh had been delusional, since there seemed to be a consensus that he was “mistaken” in thinking that he was in a romantic relationship with the nurse.

According to the forensic psychiatrist, there was no clinical basis for this determination.-/ TISG

Read related: Man on trial for nurse’s murder tried to have sex with her corpse

Man on trial for nurse’s murder tried to have sex with her corpse

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