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Man fined for sending then-wife's intimate photos to friend, claiming they were 'open-minded'

Man fined for sending then-wife's intimate photos to friend, claiming they were 'open-minded'

A file photo of a man using a handphone. (Photo: iStock)

SINGAPORE: A man was fined S$3,500 by a court on Tuesday (Sep 27) for sending intimate photos of his then-wife to a male friend.

The 34-year-old offender, who cannot be named due to gag orders protecting the victim's identity, pleaded guilty to one count of insulting a woman's modesty.

The court heard that the offender was self-employed at the time of the offence, selling second-hand cars.

Between December 2018 and May 2019, he sent photos of his wife to his male friend.

His friend reminded him that the photos were of his wife, but the offender told him "not to worry", because the couple was "open-minded".

The pictures include images showing the victim in her underwear.

In May 2019, the couple signed a deed of separation. A month later, the victim discovered that the offender had been sending intimate photos of her to two of his friends without her consent. She lodged a police report in November 2019.

The prosecution sought a fine of S$2,000, citing a low degree of planning and premeditation, and low degree of intrusion compared with other cases. There was also no exposure of private parts, and the offender was not caught red-handed.

At this, District Judge Janet Wang disagreed.

"I don't quite agree with you that he wasn't caught red-handed, from the fact that the wife found out. He was discovered in time by the victim, who then lodged a police report," she said.

She questioned the prosecutor about whether the marriage was "still alive" when the photos were circulated, and what happened to the two friends who received the photos.

The prosecutor confirmed that the couple was still married when the offender sent the photos, and said that while the victim alleged that two people had received the photos, investigations revealed that only one person did.

This person has not been charged nor warned, the prosecutor said at the judge's probing.

DEFENCE LAWYER SAYS CLIENT REGRETS HIS DECISION

Lawyer Narendra Mudaliar also asked for a fine of S$2,000, saying that his client has been cooperative with authorities and shared the intimate images with only one person.

"My client regrets his decision in sharing the pictures," he said. "He has mentioned to me that it was a lapse of judgment, also driven by the breakdown of their marriage at the relevant time."

Judge Wang interjected, pointing out that the man signed the deed of separation only in May 2019 and that the series of actions spanned the months before that, from December 2018, when the marriage was still "alive".

"Perhaps it's his actions that led, precipitated to the breakdown of the marriage," she said, adding that of course "we don't want to be speculative".

The lawyer added that his client is currently an undischarged bankrupt staying with his elderly mother and asked to pay any fine in instalments.

Judge Wang in sentencing said this case showed a "display of human conduct at its abysmal low", with the offender abusing spousal trust and demonstrating "reprehensible and crass behaviour".

The acts were committed over six months and could not be described as a one-off moment of folly, she said.

Both prosecution and defence agreed on a fine as the sentence, said Judge Wang, but the fine "cannot be a mockery of the harm caused to the victim".

She imposed a fine slightly higher than what both sides had asked for, and allowed the man to pay it in instalments by December.

For insulting a woman's modesty, he could have been jailed up to a year, fined, or both.

Source: CNA/ll(ac)
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