A businessman who was convicted of hiring hitmen to assault his mistress’ boyfriend and the man who recruited the attackers were both sentenced to jail today.
Lim Hong Liang, 55, was given six years’ imprisonment. He had grown jealous that Audrey Chen was dating another man, 34-year-old Joshua Koh Kian Yong, and ordered two men to attack the latter when they were at home on April 8, 2016.
When Koh and Chen went on the run afterwards, three attackers caught Koh while they were having supper at Little India and slashed his face with a penknife.
Meanwhile, Ong Hock Chye, 48, was sentenced to five-and-a-half years’ jail and six strokes of the cane.
He had been found guilty of suggesting the slashing and recruiting the hitmen, and paying them with money from Lim.
Both men remain out on bail as they intend to file an appeal. District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt did not impose extra jail in lieu of caning for Lim, who cannot be caned by law as he is above 50 years old.
They were found guilty in the State Courts last month of conspiring to cause grievous hurt to Koh.
Besides the two men, five people have been dealt with in court for their involvement in the attacks.
They are Nur Atika Fauziana Sherhan, 20; Lim’s nephew Ron Lim De Mai, 26; Nur Muhammad Irwan Mohd Ngat, 29; Juhari Ab Karim, 34; and former technician Mohammad Amin Aman, 47, all of whom helped to carry out the attacks on Koh.
Today, Lim’s lawyer, Senior Counsel N Sreenivasan, argued that Lim should not get the stiffest sentence among all the co-conspirators.
The senior counsel noted that Lim neither suggested the slashing nor procured the assailants. He referenced Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Wen Hsien’s submissions on sentencing, where she described Lim’s actions as “mafioso acts.”
“This is really incorrect and should not affect sentencing. There was no organised crime, no extortion…it was a personal issue,” Sreenivasan added.
However, the prosecutor said that Lim’s agreement was “instrumental” to the offence.
“He gave approval, the financial means, free rein over what to do,” she argued.
Ong, who was unrepresented by a lawyer, told the judge that it was “very unfair” that he was getting a heavier sentence than Ron Lim, whom he claimed had approached him.
Ron Lim was sentenced to three years and four strokes of the cane last year for his part in the first attack.
Lim and Chen, a beauty queen who won the inaugural Miss Mermaid pageant in September 2016, got into an intimate relationship at the end of 2014.
Lim, who owns freight forwarding company SNL Logistics, was married at the time with three children.
Lim supported her financially from then until May 2017. He allowed her to use his credit cards, gave her cash and luxury gifts, and paid for all her household and living expenses.
He also bought her a white Mercedes-Benz with a licence plate that displayed her birth year, 1991. However, he had the car fitted with a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking device without her knowledge, to keep tabs on her.
In January 2016, she moved into his apartment at The Parc Condominium near West Coast Road with a domestic worker and a dog.
About three months later, in April, she started a relationship with Koh. He was a part-time waiter and was married to another woman.
On April 8, Koh went to see Chen at the apartment while Lim was overseas in China for a kidney transplant.
During the visit, Lim’s son and nephew, Ron Lim, entered the apartment and began assaulting Koh.
Ron Lim kicked Koh in the stomach and punched him in the face for about 10 to 15 minutes, beginning in the bedroom and ending up in the living room.
After that incident, Koh and Chen began staying at different places, including various hotel rooms and their car.
But on the night of April 30, 2016, Irwan, Atika and Amin tracked the car — the same one that had been fitted with a GPS tracker — to a restaurant at Townshend Road near Little India, where the pair was having supper.
After the couple arrived at the eating spot, a man came up to Koh at the table and punched him on the left side of his head.
Koh stumbled and started to run, but another man grabbed him and he felt a sharp pain at the bottom of his right arm. Irwan then slashed his face with a penknife.
Chen called the police afterwards.
Koh suffered a stab wound as well as a flesh wound extending from his left upper lip to the right side of his chin. — TODAY