Bitter over his failed relationship, a man began harassing his former lover, going so far as to involve her children in his antics and putting her contact information online in a fake advertisement offering sex.
For his actions, Tay Ling Choon was jailed seven months and nine weeks on Tuesday (12 February).
He had pleaded guilty last month to one count of unlawfully stalking the 40-year-old woman, who cannot be named to protect her identity, along with one separate count of theft for stealing two mobile phone cases.
One separate charge of possessing an airsoft gun with seven pellets was taken into consideration for his sentencing.
In passing the 47-year-old’s sentence, District Judge Mathew Joseph noted that the accused suffers from several mental conditions, including major depressive disorder with psychotic symptoms, anti-social personality disorder and borderline personality disorder.
Still, Tay’s conduct was “dishonourable” and “despicable”, said the judge.
Met at parenting workshop
Tay first met the victim at a parenting workshop in November 2015. The pair, who are both divorced, later entered into a relationship.
Things started going awry after the woman ended the relationship in January 2016.
Unhappy over the break-up, Tay began sending the woman some 200 harassing messages in which he threatened to commit suicide, “expose” the victim to her ex-husband and to look for the victim’s daughter at her school, among others.
He also blamed her for worsening his depression and even impersonated his mother so as to send a message to the woman claiming that he had killed himself.
Tay’s threats drove the woman to lodge a Magistrate’s Complaint in March 2016. Despite receiving a letter from the Community Mediation Centre (CMC), however, he continued to harass the victim.
Both parties attended a CMC mediation session on 20 April 2016, during which they signed an agreement not to communicate with or cause harm to one another.
Barely 30 minutes after the session, however, Tay breached the terms of the agreement by calling the woman.
In the same month, Tay told staff members at his son’s secondary school that the woman’s son had threatened to beat up his son. The allegation was later discovered to be false.
Posted fake sex ad
Later that month, Tay began posting photos of the woman along with her contact number on his Facebook page, claiming that she was looking for men to have sex with.
The woman began receiving WhatsApp messages from men asking about her sexual services the next month. They claimed that they had obtained her contact number from Tay’s Facebook account.
In June 2016, the woman began receiving sexual enquiries from men who claimed they obtained her contact number from an advertisement on the Locanto online classifieds portal. The woman traced the advertisement back to an account that featured Tay’s profile photo.
She filed three separate police reports between April and June that year. Following another Facebook post of the same nature, the woman lodged another police report in September 2016.
While on bail for the harassment offences, Tay stole two grey mobile phone cases from a shop at the Nex shopping mall in Serangoon in April last year.
Addressing Tay, DJ Joseph said, “What I find quite disturbing is… Merely 30 minutes after leaving (the mediation centre) the accused started calling the victim again.”
“You should have walked away and done the honourable thing,” added the judge.
For unlawful stalking, Tay could have been jailed up to 12 months, fined up to $5,000 or both. For theft he could have been jailed up to seven years and fined.
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