Love triangle trial: Businessman found guilty of hiring hitmen to slash two-timing beauty queen's lover
SINGAPORE: A businessman was found guilty on Tuesday (Apr 2) of hiring hitmen to attack the lover of his mistress in 2016, disfiguring the younger man.
Businessman Lim Hong Liang, 55, was the boyfriend of former Miss Mermaid, 28-year-old Audrey Chen Ying Fang, whom he met in 2014 and entered into an intimate relationship with.
The married man hired Ms Chen as an administrative executive in his logistics company and paid her a monthly salary of about S$2,000, even though she did not actually show up for work.
Other gifts he bought her include a Mercedes Benz C180 with a licence plate bearing her birth year, a condominium unit at The Parc renovated into a "Hello Kitty-themed condo" for her, and the services of a maid.
Lim also let Ms Chen use his credit cards and paid for all her household and living expenses while they were together, expecting in return that she be faithful to him and not "fool around outside", the court heard.
When Lim found out that Ms Chen had been dating banquet waiter Joshua Koh Kian Yong, 35, Lim wanted to teach the man a lesson, the court heard.
LIM PAID HITMEN MONEY TO SCAR HIS MISTRESS' LOVER
The father of three children commissioned hitmen to carry out an attack on Mr Koh, who is himself married with a Thai wife.
Lim paid the hitmen S$5,000 to scar Mr Koh's face with a penknife, forming a seven-person conspiracy that included his co-accused, mover Ong Hock Chye.
Ong, 48, was also found guilty on Monday. He had suggested slashing Mr Koh's face, in contrast to Lim's original wish to have the men break Mr Koh's hands and legs.
The first attack on Mr Koh took place on Apr 8, 2016, while Lim was in China for a kidney transplant.
Ms Chen was with her lover Mr Koh in a bedroom at The Parc condominium when two men appeared at the entrance of the bedroom. One of them was Lim's older son Jing He, while the other was Lim's nephew Ron Lim De Mai.
Ron attacked Mr Koh, punching and kicking him for 10 to 15 minutes, telling him: "I was sent here to kill you."
After the assault, both Lim's son and nephew took photos of Mr Koh with their phones. Ron told Ms Chen to take Mr Koh, whose face was swollen and bleeding, to the hospital.
He was taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital with fractures in his nose. After this, Ms Chen went back to The Parc and realised that all her branded bags and watches had been removed, an observation she later tied with Lim's knowledge that she was dating Mr Koh on the side.
Later that night, Ms Chen received three Mandarin voice messages from Lim, where he said that he had learnt from someone else that Ms Chen had "brought Joshua back home to sleep".
"What you did, was it right or wrong? You bring a man back to sleep when I go overseas. What you did was it right or wrong? I provided you (with) everything," Lim said in one of the messages played in court over the course of the trial.
SECOND ATTACK THE SAME MONTH DISFIGURED MR KOH
After this attack, Ms Chen and her lover Mr Koh began staying in hotels instead. However, later that same month on Apr 30, 2016, Mr Koh was assaulted again, this time at an eatery in Little India.
He was with Ms Chen at Huay Kwang Thai Kitchen off Townshend Road for supper, cooking their food at the table at about 1am when someone punched him on the head.
Mr Koh tried to flee but was attacked by another man and felt a sharp pain in his arm. Ms Chen saw her lover's mouth "gaping open with blood" and called the police.
This time, the hospital found lacerations over his lips caused by a single slash, as well as a laceration over his right tricep and bruises on his face and head.
A doctor testified in court that there was a scar over his mouth that was likely to remain permanent.
Both Lim and Ong had claimed trial to a single charge of conspiring to cause grievous hurt to Mr Koh, which is punishable by a maximum term of life imprisonment, fine, or caning.
They will return to court for mitigation and sentencing on May 17.
The other five people involved in this case have been dealt with, receiving sentences of up to 14.5 years and with three of the men being caned.