Man pleads guilty to murdering ‘nagging’ wife in Newcastle city centre

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A husband accused of killing his wife while on holiday in Newcastle from Singapore has pleaded guilty to murder.

Last December, 51-year-old Soong Hert Fong and his partner, Pek Ying Ling, travelled to Newcastle to visit family.

Their trip ended in tragedy when shortly before 7:15 am on December 6, police were called to their city centre accommodation on Westgate Road. Emergency services arrived and discovered Pek was not breathing. Sadly, despite attempts to save her life, she was pronounced dead at the scene.

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An investigation was swiftly launched, with officers arresting her husband on suspicion of murder, and he was charged within 24 hours.

He pleaded not guilty and a trial began on August 1 at Newcastle Crown Court. The court was told how Fong attempted to silence his wife by putting a pillow over her face. The case was set to continue for several days but, on Tuesday, the trial was abandoned when the dad of three changed his plea to guilty.

Prosecutor Peter Makepeace QC told the court: 'He lost his temper, he snapped and he smothered her to death, apparently to stop her scolding him or nagging him or to keep her quiet.”

He will be sentenced on Friday August 12.

Speaking following their father’s plea, the couple’s three children issued a joint statement, it reads: “We are heartbroken after losing our Mum, but now we just want to provide our Dad with the support he needs.”

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Soong Hert FongSoong Hert Fong
Soong Hert Fong | Northumbria Police

Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Matt Steel said: “This is an incredibly tragic case and first and foremost, our thoughts continue to be with the couple’s three children who I commend for their composure and their engagement with the police throughout this extremely difficult period in their lives.

“We will support them in any way we can as they continue to navigate their grief and process what has happened.

“We would ask that everyone respects their privacy at this extremely difficult time.”

He added: “We want to be clear that we will absolutely not tolerate domestic abuse or violence in any form. When incidents of this nature do occur we are committed to bringing those responsible to justice.”

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