A man who murdered his pregnant wife and four-year-old daughter then slept with their bodies for a week has been sentenced to death in Singapore.

Teo Ghim Heng, 45, was convicted of two counts of murder for killing his wife, Choong Pei Shan, who was six months pregnant, before doing the same to their daughter Zi Ning in 2017.

He strangled his 39-year-old wife with a towel after quarrelling with her about finances.

Pei Shan is said to have insulted Teo in front of their daughter before he strangled her with a towel and then used his hands to finish the job.

After killing his wife Teo decided to kill his daughter, who cried as she was strangled to death, Channel News Asia reports.

Teo had also hoped to kill himself to "reunite the family" in death but he failed in several attempts to do so.

He placed the two bodies on a bed and slept beside them for seven days, eventually setting fire to the bodies and tried lying next to them but "chickened out" because of the heat.

The bodies were only discovered when Teo's brother-in-law came knocking at the door after his sister did not turn up for their usual Chinese New Year festivities and did not respond to phone calls and messages.

Unable to gain access to the property, the brother went to the police and when Teo opened the door to officers he appeared "shocked" before going right up to his brother-in-law's face to tell him that his sister was dead.

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Teo had previously been a top property agent earning about S$20,000 a month, but when he lost his job he racked up gambling debts, credit card bills and school fees for his daughter's school, which he was unable to pay and kept putting off, the court heard.

The money issues had led to frequent arguments between the couple, and Teo also suspected that his daughter was not his after finding his wife with another man in October 2014.

The prosecution argued that Teo lied to the police and defence psychiatrist to support a defence of diminished responsibility, where an accused person is suffering from a specific abnormality of mind that substantially impaired his mental responsibility for causing the deaths.

The prosecutors also said Teo retained his mental capacity at the time, as he could describe in great detail how his wife had supposedly scolded him, as well as how he killed his wife and daughter.

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Defence lawyers led by Mr Eugene Thuraisingam asked the court to convict Teo of culpable homicide not amounting to murder instead, saying that Teo had been suffering from major depressive disorder and had been gravely and suddenly provoked.

Justice Kannan Ramesh found that Teo did not fulfil the criteria for major depressive disorder at the time of the offences, pointing to several factors, including his performance at work.

The judge also said that in the aftermath of the deaths, Teo had been able to fashion multiple lies, which he said is behaviour "demonstrative of shrewd cognitive ability".

He also rejected Teo's defence of grave and sudden provocation.

Justice Kannan Ramesh handed out the maximum penalty for murder in Singapore, which is death.

A third charge against Teo of causing the death of the unborn foetus was withdrawn after the conviction on Thursday.

The defence intends to appeal against the conviction and sentence.

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