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Singapore

Woman fined for harassing neighbour by bouncing basketball, pouring water into her condo unit

Woman fined for harassing neighbour by bouncing basketball, pouring water into her condo unit

Screengrab from Google Street View of Citylife @ Tampines condominium.

SINGAPORE: A woman who harassed her neighbour by repeatedly pouring soapy water into her apartment and bouncing a basketball for up to 45 minutes at a time has been fined S$10,500. 

Lee Soh Geok faced three charges, under the Protection from Harassment Act, of harassing Helen Lim Hai Loon between Jan 29, 2019 and May 22, 2020.

Madam Lim had mounted a private prosecution against Lee. She had earlier said that she filed 12 police reports during that period but was purportedly told that the police would not prosecute Lee.

Both women are residents at the Citylife @ Tampines condominium. 

Lee, who lives with her mother, had deliberately poured water from her second-floor unit onto the roof extension of Mdm Lim's home.

Lee also caused unreasonable noise by deliberately bouncing a ball in her apartment several times a day, with one instance lasting up to 45 minutes. 

Videos taken by Mdm Lim showed Lee pouring the water at different times of the day - on some occasions past midnight - with the residue flowing down the roof and into her home.

Mdm Lim had previously testified that on one occasion, her two children had shouted at Lee to stop when they spotted her pouring water, to which she responded by splashing another bucket of water. 

Lee claimed in the State Courts in July that her pouring of water was aimed at cleaning the roof, and that she had wanted to bring "shit" (bird droppings) to court as proof. 

However, in his submissions, Mdm Lim’s lawyer Luke Lee noted no such evidence had been produced, with his client stating her roof extension was always clean. 

The water-pouring began in 2016, sometime after Mdm Lim’s husband installed a roof extension. 

The court previously heard that Lee had asked the condo management to remove the fixed awnings - which extended from the roof of Mdm Lim's unit, or the bottom of Lee's balcony - and replace them with retractable ones.

Lee had also asked for her neighbours to bear the cost of thrice-weekly cleaning of the roofs, quoted at S$600 per unit for each washing.

However, this was rejected as the board deemed such a move disproportionate. 

The lawyer had previously said in court that Lee’s unhappiness with this decision was her motive for pouring the water. 

Mr Lee noted that Lee had ignored complaints regarding the bouncing of the ball, which Madam Lim said had caused “trembling” across her whole apartment.

Instead, Lee told her neighbour she had a right to do what she wanted in her unit, causing Madam Lim to suffer harassment and distress as a result, he added.

Lawyer Mr Lee called for Lee to be fined S$4,000 for each of the three charges as deterrence. 

Madam Lim’s prosecution against Lee was motivated not by revenge, but to put a stop to her harassment, he said. 

“Although framed into three charges, the respondent (Lee) had committed multitudinous acts, each of which was likely to cause harassment and distress to the complainant (Madam Lim),” the lawyer said. 

Madam Lim had recorded 123 different acts of water-splashing and 39 separate instances of noise caused by the bouncing of a basketball between Jan 29, 2019 and May 21, 2020, he pointed out. 

Mr Lee noted that under cross-examination on July 9 this year, Lee herself admitted that her water-pouring continued “until today”. 

“This is egregious behaviour, and showed an absolute lack of remorse, and an attitude that she will continue to do so, despite this prosecution,” he said in his submission. 

District Judge Salina Ishak fined Lee S$3,500 for each charge, amounting to a total of S$10,500. 

Those convicted of using abusive behaviour face fines of up to S$5,000 per charge.

Source: CNA/az(gr)

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