SINGAPORE — A businessman who masterminded an assault on his mistress’ boyfriend was jailed at the State Courts on Tuesday (21 May).
Lim Hong Liang, 55, was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment while another man who took part in the plot, 48-year-old Ong Hock Chye, received a five-and-a-half year jail term along with six strokes of the cane.
The former had asked for help in arranging an attack on Joshua Koh Kian Yong on 30 April 2016 after discovering that Koh had been seeing his then 27-year-old mistress Audrey Chen Ying Fang.
Following a trial, Lim and Ong were each found guilty of one count of engaging in a conspiracy along with five others to voluntarily cause grievous hurt to Koh.
While Lim had initially intended for Koh’s hands and legs to be broken, it was Ong who suggested that the victim’s face be slashed instead. The eventual attack left Koh permanently scarred.
Both intend to appeal against the court's decision.
Actions spurred by wounded pride: prosecution
According to the prosecution, Lim’s actions were borne out of his jealousy and wounded pride. He had hired hitmen to “teach (Koh) a lesson” and the wound left on Koh was meant as a reminder for the victim to stay away from Chen.
Lim had originally instructed his nephew, 27-year-old Ron Lim De Mai, to find someone to break Koh’s hands and legs. Ron then asked Ong to recruit people for the task and Ong later suggested that Koh’s face be slashed instead.
The hitmen were then paid to scar Koh’s face with a penknife. As evidence of their work, Lim was presented with a picture of Koh’s injured face.
Apart from Lim, Ong and Ron, four hitmen were involved in the conspiracy.
Lim and Chen, a former beauty queen, first met in mid-2014 and became lovers by the end of the year.
While Lim was married with three children, he also provided for Chen and hired her as an administrative executive in his company. She was paid $2,000 a month even though she was not required to show up for work.
Chen also lived rent-free in a condominium unit that Lim owned at The Parc. The unit was decorated with a Hello Kitty theme according to her liking.
Accused kept tabs on mistress
Lim also provided Chen with a white Mercedes Benz. However, she was unaware that Lim had installed a GPS device in the vehicle to track her movements.
He also instructed Ron to tail Chen and report her whereabouts to him. Chen later discovered the tracking device and had it removed in June 2016.
Despite being involved with Lim, Chen entered into a relationship with Koh on 7 April 2016. When Lim discovered that Chen was seeing Koh, he confiscated her branded goods and demanded that she stop seeing the other man.
On 8 April that year, when Chen was with Koh in the unit, Ron and Lim’s elder son also showed up and assaulted Koh. Following the attack, Koh and Chen stayed in hotels while fleeing from Lim.
When he discovered that Koh was still seeing Chen, Lim called Ron and asked the latter to find someone to break Koh’s limbs. Ron roped in Ong and gave the latter $2,000 from Lim as a transportation fee. Lim also gave Ron $8,000 to pay Ong and the hitmen.
On the night of 30 April, the couple were dining at Huay Kwang Thai Kitchen off Townshend Road when the hitmen attacked Koh and slashed his face in the process.
Koh suffered a 2cm laceration over his left upper lip, and a 5cm laceration over his right lower lip.
The prosecution called for Lim to be jailed seven years with another three years in lieu of six strokes of the cane. It sought a six year jail term for Ong, along with six strokes of the cane.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Wen Hsien said that both Lim and Ong were the “most culpable of all the members of the conspiracy”, and pointed out that Lim ought to receive the “harshest sentence” for being the mastermind.
“The deliberate procurement of criminal acts, particularly those involving violence and physical harm, with the promise of financial reward, is repugnant to moral and social norms and must be met with a stiff deterrent sentence,” said the DPP.
The prosecution also cited the high degree of premeditation and planning before the offence was carried out.
According to the prosecution a briefing was conducted on 27 April 2016 at a Toa Payoh coffeeshop when the hitmen were given partial payment, a photograph of Koh to identify him, and the use of the GPS tracking account so they could locate him.
The hitmen then tracked Chen’s car for days and selected a suitable location – one they believed had no CCTV cameras – for the attack.
All four hitmen have since admitted to their offences. Three have been jailed while one was sentenced to reformative training.
Ron was jailed 36 months and caned four strokes.