Article Man jailed after harassing judge because he was unhappy with divorce proceedings

SINGAPORE - A man and his former wife were so unhappy with their divorce proceedings, they separately directed their anger at the court.

Both ended up being given jail sentences.

The man, Singaporean Lim Teck Leng, was on Monday (July 27) sentenced to six weeks' jail after being found guilty of one count of harassment.

The 42-year-old had fired an e-mail to the Family Justice Courts judge in 2018 proclaiming her a "beast" and "unfit as a human being".

In the same e-mail, he also accused her of being "unfit, incompetent and improper".

The e-mail was also sent to several politicians and public appointment holders.

His former wife - Chinese national Zhang Honghong, 37 - was sentenced to three weeks' jail in December last year after pleading guilty to a harassment charge.

In an electronically-filed summons application, she attached an affidavit stating that she would "smash" the court and hit the Family Justice Courts judge.

The couple were married on Sept 7, 2010, and went on to have two children.

But on July 18, 2015, Zhang filed a writ of divorce.

The matter was later heard by the district judge, who bore the brunt of the abuse after she took over from the previous judge in 2017.

On Aug 25 that year, she made an order for Zhang to have care and control of the children.

In addition, Lim had to pay Zhang $175,000 in the division of their matrimonial assets, and $300 a month for a year in spousal maintenance.

He also had to fork out $1,800 a year for child maintenance.

But Zhang later became frustrated with Lim for not paying maintenance. She also felt that the Family Justice Courts did not help her enough.

She then committed her offence on Dec 15, 2017.

On May 15, 2018, the judge heard arguments on two applications Zhang had made pertaining to matters involving the earlier orders.

"In the course of this hearing, (Lim) criticised the victim (as) having taken just one day to make her decision.

"At the conclusion of the hearing, the victim dismissed the majority of Madam Zhang's applications, although she ordered the accused (Lim) to pay the arrears of maintenance in instalments of $50 a month, and gave him an extension of time to pay the sum of $175,000," Deputy Public Prosecutor David Koh said in his submissions.

On June 1, 2018, Lim sent the e-mail insulting the judge, accusing her of being "unfit and improper".

The DPP said that the judge was alarmed when she received the e-mail and informed the management of the Family Justice Courts about it. The police were then alerted later that day.

DPP Koh added that Lim had initially "readily admitted to sending the e-mail".

But he "changed his story" during the trial, claiming that he did not remember sending it.

DPP Koh said: "He has also proven himself to be an entirely unreliable witness who is prone to contradiction, embellishment and feigned forgetfulness."

Offenders convicted of harassment can be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $5,000.