On 8 April 2016, Audrey Chen Ying Fang was spending time with her boyfriend in her condominium apartment – which had been paid for by another lover – when two men showed up at the entrance of her bedroom.
One of the men told the 26-year-old’s boyfriend, 33-year-old Joshua Koh Kian Yong, “I was sent here to kill you.”
The man then began assaulting Koh, fracturing his nose and bruising his eyes, while the other man sat on Chen’s couch and played with her dog.
These were some of the details shared by Chen, who took stand on Tuesday (15 May) to testify against her former lover, 54-year-old logistics firm director Lim Hong Liang, during the first day of his trial.
Lim, who is married, stands accused of asking his nephew, 25-year-old Ron Lim De Mai, to arrange for Koh to be beaten up for dating Chen – who was Lim’s mistress at the time.
Lim, who is married, is contesting one count of engaging in a conspiracy with Ong Hock Chye, Ron and three others to voluntarily cause grievous hurt to Koh with a weapon on 30 April 2016 at Townshend Road. The attack, which saw Koh being slashed in the face, left Kok permanently disfigured.
Ong, 47, is also standing trial for one count of engaging in a conspiracy with Lim, Ron and three others to voluntarily cause grievous hurt to Koh with a weapon on the same day. While Lim is represented by a team of four lawyers – senior counsel N Sreenivasan along with Choo Si Sen, P O Ram and Partheban Pandoyan – Ong is unrepresented.
The events of 8 April 2016 are not part of the charges being contested by Lim and Ong.
Lim and Chen began seeing each other in 2014. In March 2016, while still in a relationship with Lim, Chen also began dating Koh.
According to Chen, she and Koh officially became an item on 7 April 2016 and are still dating. Lim became upset after finding out about Chen’s relationship with Koh in April 2016.
A day after Chen spent the night at Koh’s home, Lim removed her branded bags and accessories, telling Chen said that she would get the items back only on the condition that she stopped seeing Koh.
This did not deter Chen, however, who brought Koh to the apartment she shared with Lim on 8 April. At the time, Lim was in China for medical reasons.
Chen, an unemployed former beauty pageant winner, said that on the day, she had arranged with Lim’s son – who was not named in court – to collect some money from the apartment. Before the son arrived, she asked Koh to step out of the apartment. Koh returned after the son had left.
A few hours later, the two were hanging out in the apartment when Chen said she heard a gate open. “Within seconds two guys appeared at the entrance of the bedroom,” she said.
While she could not recognise them during the incident, Chen later identified the two men as Ron and Lim’s son.
Ron asked Koh to identify himself but before Koh could reply, Ron began punching and kicking him, claiming that he had been sent to kill Koh, said Chen.
The alleged attack, which left blood on the apartment’s floor and wall, lasted 10 to 15 minutes. While initially watching the assault, Lim’s son later sat on the couch to play with Chen’s dog. Koh, who did not retaliate, had his nose fractured, said Chen. After some time, Ron stopped his assault and told Chen to take Koh to the hospital.
On the same day, Lim sent Chen WhatsApp voice messages in Mandarin berating her for her conduct. The voice messages, which were played in court, said, “Do you think its correct to do it. When I go overseas, you bring a man home to sleep”; “I provided you with cash, whatever you want”; and “do some reflection, from the way I treat you, I accommodate all your demands, is what you do right”.
The incident took place just three weeks before Koh was again attacked by more thugs allegedly hired by Ron on Lim’s behalf.
Following his uncle’s request, Ron told Ong that Lim wanted Koh’s hands and legs broken for dating Chen and Ong mobilised a few others to help him in the assault.
On 30 April 2016, while Chen and Koh were having supper at Huay Kwang Thia Kitchen along Townshend Road, three men accosted Koh. One began punching him while another slashed Koh’s face. The three then fled the scene in a car and Chen made a police report.
Ron was jailed for 36 months and caned four strokes in March this year for his role in the conspiracy. The four other accomplices involved in the 30 April 2016 assault, apart from Ong, are: Mohammad Amin Aman, 47; Juhari Ab Karim, 34; Nur Atika Fauziana Sherhan, 20; and Nur Muhammad Irwan Mohd Ngat, 29.
Atika has been sentenced to reformative training, while Juhari was jailed 15 months. Irwan was handed a jail term of 14½ years along with 16 strokes of the cane.
Mistress lavished with gifts
Chen said she moved into Lim’s condominium apartment, which had been renovated to her liking with a Hello Kitty theme, in January 2016.
Lim also began to support Chen financially from November 2014 up until Chen cut off contact with him in May 2017. Lim also paid for a domestic helper hired by Chen hired to upkeep the apartment.
The court also heard that Lim had employed Chen as an “admin executive” in November 2014. Even though she did not report to work, he paid her a monthly salary of about $2,000 along with Central Provident Fund contributions of about $900 a month.
In late 2015, Chen also received a white Mercedes Benz bearing a number plate with her birth year – 1991 – from Lim as a gift. At the time, however, Chen was unaware that Lim had the car fitted with a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking system that could pinpoint her whereabouts.
Thanks to Lim, Chen also came to own 17 branded handbags which ranged in value from $4,000 to $16,000 each along with a number of branded watches. In one of his voice messages to Chen, Lim also said that he had set aside $300,000 for Chen to open a “coffee shop”.
Their relationship soured, however, when Chen began seeing Koh.
Following the 8 April 2016 attack, Chen and Koh went on the run for a few months, checking into various hotels. Lim had by then terminated her credit cards and Chen returned to the condominium in June 2016 after she running out of funds.
Koh was serving a prison sentence at the time and Chen visited the apartment in an attempt to patch things up with Lim.
Lim maintained his innocence with regard to April 2016 attacks on Koh, said Chen. He also continued providing Chen with money even though the cashflow was “no longer as free as before”.
Chen stopped taking cash from Lim in May 2017, though he continued paying the maid’s salary. Chen moved out from the apartment in August 2017.
When asked if she started working after Lim stopped supporting her financially, Chen said no.
“I was used to a comfortable life, I was not used to working, so I took a while to adjust,” she said, adding that she did not regret cutting off ties with Lim.
“I was not unhappy when it stopped in May… I was the one to cut it off. I was tired and sick of this life even though (I was) financially comfortable,” she said.
When asked how she felt towards Lim now, Chen said, “For me I don’t hold any grudge, it’s been two years and everyone has their mistakes.”
“For me I want to move on, I don’t want to keep revisiting this chapter of my life.”
The trial resumes on Wednesday.