SINGAPORE: The grandson of the founder of department store OG was fined S$3,500 on Monday (Jul 15) for harassing the husband of his lover at the time.
Kelvin Liu Chin Chan, 44, was found guilty of one charge under the Protection from Harassment Act, in a private prosecution case brought by civil servant Desmond Tay Kwang Ju, 40.
Liu sent photographs and made telephone calls to Mr Tay, the husband of his lover – identified only as Madam Lin – between June 2016 and January 2017. Liu is now married to Mdm Lin.
In his “belittling” messages, Liu accused Mr Tay of telling “so many lies”, asking if he “felt ashamed”.
“My point is that you are in la la land,” he wrote in another message. “Your kampong politics won’t work.”
Mr Tay had found out that his wife was having an affair with Liu in 2016 when Liu’s wife contacted him.
He then hired a private investigator to check on his wife, who denied that she was cheating on him.
Mdm Lin asked Mr Tay to create a chat group with both couples to address the matter, and he created a group called “Confessions of Marco Polo”.
Liu sent Mr Tay a photograph of Mr Tay’s naked torso that his wife had taken of him. Mr Tay testified during the trial that Liu had sent him the photo on Jan 29, 2017, with the intention of harassing, belittling and humiliating him.
Liu said that he had sent the picture as he had been drinking that day and was in “a state of bad judgment”.
His lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam said the text messages were sent without any intent to cause harassment or distress, nor did they cause any harassment or distress.
He urged the court to see the proceedings for “what they really are”, that Mr Tay was “upset and unhappy” with Liu because his wife had left him for Liu.
“But all is fair in love and war and the courts are not the forum to police matters of the heart,” said the defence counsel. “This long-drawn private prosecution has already cost (Liu) much time and expense, and on that account could itself be said to have been (Mr Tay’s) means of getting back at (Liu), rightly or wrongly.”
Mr Thuraisingam said that both men had made complaints against each other, but Liu had voluntarily dropped his against Mr Tay, “in a show of good faith that he was willing to move on and put their differences behind him”.
Mr Thuraisingam argued that the Protection from Harassment Act “was never intended to be used to prosecute cases of the present sort”, and that Mr Tay’s use of the Act to prosecute “what is essentially a private dispute is, with respect, perverse”.
Mr Tay’s lawyer Luke Lee asked for Liu to pay costs for the court proceedings, and the judge ordered both sides to file submissions on this, arranging a hearing next month.