SINGAPORE: What started out as a brief relationship with a man she met at a parenting workshop turned into a nightmare for a woman who was stalked and harassed for months after she had left him.
Tay Ling Choon, 47, pleaded guilty on Monday (Jan 14) to stalking his ex-lover, whose identity is protected by a gag order.
He sent her hundreds of abusive messages, threatened to harm himself and posted graphic advertisements for sex which listed the victim's contact number.
Tay met the 40-year-old divorcee in November 2015 and the pair later started a sexual relationship, Deputy Public Prosecutor Lim Shin Hui told the court.
The victim ended the relationship in January 2016. Trouble began a month later, when Tay started sending her messages about committing suicide to "end his pain", the prosecutor said.
The woman blocked him on various messaging platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber and Line, but she could not block him from sending her SMSes or MMSes (multimedia messaging services).
She deleted some of these, but 194 other messages from Tay were found when the police checked her phone during investigations.
ACCUSED THREATENED TO INVOLVE VICTIM'S FAMILY MEMBERS
In his messages, Tay threatened to commit suicide and pretended to be his own mother telling the victim that he had killed himself.
He also threatened to "tell everything" to the woman's ex-husband, look for her daughter in school, as well as upload photos and videos of them having sex.
His messages to her were littered with vulgarities and abusive language.
After weeks of this, the woman lodged a magistrate's complaint in March 2016 and the case was referred to the Community Mediation Centre for dispute resolution. After Tay received a letter from the centre, he sent the victim many SMSes insulting her and calling her a prostitute.
Tay, who is jobless, began advertising the woman's purported sexual services online in lewd posts containing her contact number. The woman lodged a police report that same day.
While proceedings were ongoing, Tay turned his attention to the woman's son. In April 2016, Tay spoke to the secondary school his own son attended, claiming that the victim's son had threatened to beat his son up.
The woman was informed of this allegation by her son’s school and cleared the air with the school.
A few days later, the pair attended a mediation session at the mediation centre. They signed a settlement agreement stating they will not contact each other and will not to do anything harmful to each other or their family members.
It took just half an hour for Tay to start calling the victim again.
The following month, the victim started receiving messages from strangers asking about sexual services. When she questioned them about it, they pointed her to Tay's Facebook account, where he had listed sexual services she supposedly provided for a price, along with payment methods.
She continued receiving such enquiries up to August, and found out that Tay had also made a listing on online site Locanto.
In addition to the stalking charge, Tay also pleaded guilty to stealing mobile phone pouches from a shop in Serangoon.
He will be back in court for sentencing on Jan 28. For unlawful stalking, he can be jailed for up to a year, fined a maximum of S$5,000 or both.