A court in the southern city of Can Tho sentenced a local doctor to 9 months’ probation on Friday morning for binding his pregnant wife in chains and torturing her until she miscarried last March.
Pham Kha Ly, a doctor at the provincial General Hospital was also ordered to pay VND 11,500,000 (US $540) in compensation to his wife, Tran Cam Loan.
Many spectators at the trial said the judgment was far too lenient.
According to an indictment read during the trial, Ly harbored groundless suspicions about his wife’s loyalty since he married her in late 2012.
News that Loan was pregnant raised further doubts in the doctor’s mind, so that he went to the market and bought a length of chain and a lock which he secretly hid in his home.
At around 9am on March 22, Ly asked his wife to go to the toilet to take an instant pregnancy test in front him. After the urine test strip confirmed her pregnancy, Ly pretended to be happy and asked her to take off her clothes for a “romantic celebration”.
When Loan followed his request, the husband bound her in chains and proceeded to beat and degrade her, demanding that she confess to having engaged in a “secret affair”.
After failing to obtain her “confession”, Ly drag his naked wife through the kitchen and cut her hair off with a knife. He then reportedly kicked Loan in the belly, neck and face and demanded that she sign divorce papers.
The doctor also threatened to cut off his wife’s fingers, slit her throat and skin her face.
After four hours of physical and psychological torture, Ly took all of his wife’s money and jewelry and left their house.
Loan’s family escorted her to a local police station to file a report the following day.
The brutal assault caused her to miscarry and doctors estimated it permanently damaged "two percent" of her overall health--a metric used in calculating punitive damages in Vietnam.