Police Nab Mechanic for Acid Attack on Wife Over Jealousy

A 42-year-old mechanic who suspected his wife was having an affair was arrested on Thursday after throwing a bowl of battery acid on her at their home in Kompong Cham province, police said.

Seng Bunnat attacked his wife from behind as she walked to the bathroom at about 5 a.m., said Tom Channa, chief of the provincial police’s serious crimes bureau.

Ngon Sok Leng, 39, who was burned on her back and left hand, was rushed to the nearby Srei Santhor district referral hospital for treatment, Mr. Channa said.

Her husband was discovered at about 3 p.m. hiding in a nearby house and was taken for questioning at the Koh Sotin district police station, he said.

District police chief Breng Him said the suspect had admitted to attacking his wife at her home in Prek Tanong commune because he believed she was having an affair.

Mr. Bunnat had traveled home from his job at a Ratanakkiri province car repair shop last week after hearing rumors about his wife’s infidelity, Mr. Him said.

“He said he attacked his wife with acid because he’s jealous of his wife. He suspected that she has a boyfriend,” he said.

“He just heard the rumor and put blame on his wife without consideration,” he added. “He got angry and came back home and this early morning he attacked his wife.”

Ms. Leng remained hospitalized, but was recovering on Thursday evening, Mr. Him said. He said he believed she would make a recovery since the acid was not as corrosive as others used in such attacks, which have declined significantly since the Law on Strong Acid Management was passed in 2011.

“I think the victim will get better soon because this is a kind of battery acid,” Mr. Him said.

Mr. Bunnat was being held on suspicion of intentional violence under aggravating circumstances and would be sent to the provincial police station today for further questioning, Mr. Him said.

“He already confessed to what he did to the police.”

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