SINGAPORE, Oct 28 — A 25-year-old woman, whose ex-boyfriend continued stalking her even after she took out protection orders against him, told a court yesterday (October 27) that she had to stop working for a year due to the resulting anxiety and depression.
Ng Bing Soon, also aged 25, had pleaded guilty last month to four charges of unlawful stalking and contravening the protection orders.
The Singaporean, who worked as a logistics officer at the Port of Singapore Authority at the time, repeatedly used multiple phone numbers and social media accounts to contact her, threatened to kill her and her family, and cut off her flat’s electricity supply.
He began stalking the victim shortly after they broke up around September last year.
She was then granted an expedited protection order in mid-November last year, which was replaced by a personal protection order about a month later.
Ng breached both orders through various acts such as grabbing her arm at the lift lobby of her block and loitering at the staircase landing outside her flat.
He is set to be sentenced on Nov 8 and remains out on bail. The prosecution is seeking seven to eight months’ jail and a fine.
While there is no gag order on disclosing the victim’s identity, the Attorney-General’s Chambers requested that she and her family members not be named.
‘I pushed myself to go out’
The victim had told District Judge Sarah Tan of how Ng’s acts affected her, after he was given the chance to question her about her victim impact statement. He was not represented by a lawyer.
The victim had worked as a financial adviser but took a one-year break, which she said adversely affected her own financial situation, when he began stalking her.
“I felt very... not motivated to work any more. I was depressed; I didn’t fight to go back to my social circle for a while,” she said on Wednesday.
Ng asked why she had written in her victim impact statement about being afraid to collect her food delivery orders, when she would have received phone text message alerts from the providers about the food having reached her door.
The victim replied: “Clearly, you do not understand what anxiety is and you do not understand the impact it had on me. The past few incidents, you came to my house to switch off the electricity so obviously, I’m afraid that my anxiety will act up if I were to see you outside.”
Ng also questioned her on how she could have entertained customers and drunk alcohol daily, which he said “doesn’t tally with a depressed person”. She had talked in her statement about needing her friends to accompany her home and being traumatised by the stalking.
She replied that she had wanted to overcome her depression. “I pushed myself to go out, especially after getting the protection order. I thought it would be safe to go out and try to overcome my fear. However, you still breached it,” she added.
Ng then retorted that drinking alcohol “makes you not aware of your surroundings”, asking: “You can drink every day with strangers or people you just met, yet you said you’re afraid of me. Why are you not afraid they’ll do stuff to you?”
She responded that she feared him due to his past, but the new people she met had not done anything to her. The friends she worked with also looked out for her.
Ng also quizzed her on whether she had cancelled the insurance policy he had bought from her. She said that she had redirected his case to another insurance agent, and had not checked the case till recently due to her break from work.
She added: “Who would just stalk people at night just for an insurance policy? You grabbed me when you saw me, it’s definitely a threat to me, it’s so scary I was taking a break. I could not work at all.”
What Ng did
When Ng pleaded guilty, the court heard that he and the victim dated from 2018 and broke up a few weeks before September last year.
Between September 16 and 29, he created new accounts on Instagram to send her messages after she blocked him. He also texted her using several phone numbers after she blocked his number.
These messages included threats to inflict physical harm on her and her family, including her parents and sister.
On one occasion, when she did not reply, he went to her flat and knocked on her door. He then flipped the switch for the circuit breaker at the electrical board outside the flat, cutting off the electricity supply.
About a month later, he went over again but the victim’s father stopped him. They got into a scuffle when Ng tried to enter the unit.
On December 5 last year, he went over to the housing block where she lived and spotted her alighting from a taxi. When he tried to speak to her, she ignored him and he followed her to the lift lobby, where he grabbed her arms and pulled her away from the lift.
She screamed and he let go. He was under the expedited protection order at the time.
Then, in the wee hours of December 31, he approached her and grabbed her by her arms again when she ran towards the lift lobby, dragging her away. She began to cry and started to scream.
Fearing others would hear the commotion, he released his grip after some time.
A month later, he loitered at the staircase landing on the same floor of her flat. She then began shouting for help and he asked her to stop, but she continued and he fled the scene.
Those convicted of stalking can be jailed for up to a year or fined up to S$5,000 (RM15,398), or punished with both. ― TODAY