Kandal Provincial Court on Saturday charged a farmer who allegedly torched his house, injuring his wife and toddler son, in a fit of rage in Phnom Sruoch district.
Major Van Seng, district deputy police identified the accused as Cheth Thi, 37, living in Phnom Sruoch commune.
He identified the wife as Ang Eng, 38, also a farmer and their son as Cheth Samneang, 18-months-old.
Maj Seng said that Mr Thi was charged with intentional acts of violence with aggravating circumstance and faces up to five years in jail if convicted. He was arrested on Thursday and is now in prison pending trial.
He noted that the torching took place at about 3.30pm on Thursday at the family’s house in the commune’s Ponor village.
Maj Seng said that according to police investigations, Ms Eng was habitual gambler who always invited a group of between five to 10 people to her home to play cards whenever her husband was out.
He noted that the couple often quarrelled over her gambling habit.
Maj Seng said that on the day of violence, Mr Thi returned home after drinking rice wine with friends in the village.
He said that upon arriving home the accused saw his wife gambling with seven villagers and went to check if she had cooked food for him.
He became angry when he found that she hadn’t and began arguing with her, causing the visitors to hastily leave the house.
“Mr Thi was angry with his wife for always bringing other people to gamble inside his house every time he was not at home,” Maj Seng said. “He then poured half a litter of gasoline on his house and set it ablaze.”
“The fire caused serious burns on the victims’ backs, hands and legs and destroyed everything inside the house,” he added.
Maj Seng said neighbours rescued Ms Eng and the toddler from the burning house and took them to the provincial referral hospital where they are still being treated.
He added that after torching his house, Mr Thi fled the scene but was arrested by commune police at about 4pm on Thursday.