SINGAPORE: A man who came to court to settle his divorce will serve six weeks' jail after writing an abusive email to the judge handling his case, calling her a "beast" and an "unfit" human, among other insults.
Lim Teck Leng, 42, was given the jail term on Monday (Jul 27) after being convicted of one count of using abusive communications towards a public servant.
The court heard that Lim, also known as Darrell, was engaged in divorce proceedings with his then-wife in the Family Justice Courts, after his former wife filed a writ of divorce in July 2015.
Lim, an accountant by training, successfully got the original judge recused from the case after alleging that the judge was "biased" against him.
The victim, a district judge in the Family Justice Courts, took over the case and made several orders in 2017. These included directions for Lim's ex-wife to have care and control of the children, and for Lim to pay his ex-wife S$175,000 in division of matrimonial assets.
He was also to pay S$300 a month as spousal maintenance for a year, and child maintenance of S$1,800 a year for their two children.
On Apr 25, 2018, Lim made a post on the Facebook page of the Family and Juvenile Court, criticising the original judge for "drag(ging)" his case.
He later made additional comments on his Facebook post, calling the victim the "best goondu in the world". He also sent an email to the victim and several other political and public service appointment holders, calling the victim "brainless and chop chop" and "bias chop chop".
He repeated allegations that the victim was "unfit, incompetent and improper" and is "totally a beast and unfit as a human being", said Deputy Public Prosecutor David Koh.
Lim also called the judge a "bastard" who has "totally destroy(ed)" his children's future.
"I will haunt her till she come to a terrible end," he wrote.
An employee of the court flagged the Facebook post to the judge. When she received the harassing email, she was alarmed and informed the management of the Family Justice Court about what happened. A police report was filed.
Lim, who was unrepresented and contested the charges, denied sending the email and said he had no memory of it. He also claimed that his email inbox could have been hacked into or compromised by malware.
The prosecutor called for six to eight weeks' jail, saying that the court needs to send "a resounding signal that we will not hesitate to protect our public servants from abuse".
"The independence of our judicial officers must be jealously safeguarded, and they must be free from threat or abuse to discharge their duties without fear or favour," said Mr Koh.
The judge agreed that a deterrent sentence was called for given the aggravating circumstances of the case.
For using abusive words on a public servant, Lim could have been jailed for up to a year, fined up to S$5,000, or both.