A man despondent that a divorce decree forced him to give up his land killed himself Monday by drinking rat poison, police said.
Nou Phally, 45, drank the poison after police ordered him to vacate his land in Koh Krabey village, Kien Svay district, Kandal province.
“He was disappointed and upset that he would have no place to live, so he decided to kill himself,” said Maing Pich, district police chief in Kien Svay.
He said Nou Phally had been divorced in 1993. As part of the settlement, he was ordered to turn over his 150 square-meter house lot to his son, Klot Vanda, when the boy turned 18.
That day arrived last week, and policemen visited Nou Phally twice to tell him it was time to dismantle his house and go. When they returned a third time Monday, he drank the poison.
“I saw him with a bottle, but I thought it was wine,” said Maing Pich. “When I told my staff to get the bottle from him, it was too late.” Nou Phally died en route to a Phnom Penh hospital.
Klot Vanda lived with his father for some time after the divorce, but after his father remarried the boy did not get along with his step-mother. He returned to live with his mother, Pal Vanry.
Nou Phally and his new wife had two children. Neighbors told police they thought it was unfair that Nou Phally’s second family would be left without a place to live.
“They asked why the court did not let him keep the house and land to feed the two [younger] children,” Maing Pich said.