Philippe Marcel Guy Graffart, a Belgian expatriate, pleaded guilty in High Court on Monday (1 August) to a charge of culpable homicide to causing the death of his five-year-old son last October.
The 42-year-old man, an Executive Director at the Singapore arm of Nordea Investment Funds, admitted to having suffocated his son with a cushion, Keryan Gabriel Cedric Graffart, and prevented the boy from breathing.
The incident happened on 5 October last year between 9pm and 10.17pm. Graffart had been fighting for custody over the boy with his ex-wife. It was reported that he had written in an email to his lawyer, Ramesh Tiwary, that day and said, “I am so tired of all this … really tired. I want to … end this nightmare. I cannot change the past but I can change the future … I am so afraid to lose my son.”
Graffart told the High Court that he read two bedtime stories for the boy. He then asked the boy to take medication meant for insomnia before bed. The autopsy reported that the boy had been “sedated or asleep”. It also stated that hand-shaped bruises were seen all over the boy’s neck.
He said that he cradled the boy in his arm and told the boy that he was going to join him. He went on his car and attempted suicide. He removed his seatbelt before crashed his car onto a wall in a full speed at about 10.40 that night. He managed to survive the accident.
Graffart then took an Uber home between 3.45am and 4.20am, where he tried to kill himself again. But he could not bring himself to jump off his 32-storey balcony or stab himself with a kitchen knife. Therefore, he took another Uber car and went to the police station and confessed, “I have done something really bad to my son.”
The police then went to his house where a maid who worked for him led officers to the boy’s room and found the boy laid motionless on the bed. She said that Graffart had an argument with his ex-wife on the phone the night before but heard nothing suspicious at the night when the incident happened.
The general manager of Nordea Private Banking in Singapore, Kim Osborg Nielsen, told the Straits Times that the firm is aware of the case. He said: “We send our regards to the family and we understand that there are investigations. We will follow the course of decisions.”
For culpable homicide, Graffart could be jailed for up to 10 years and caned.