SINGAPORE — Under orders allegedly from her former boss, a woman made false police reports, including a false Magistrate’s Complaint to the State Courts, claiming that she and her ex-boss had been assaulted by the latter’s ex-boyfriend.
For her actions, Nicole Chng Jin Wen, 28, was sentenced to six weeks’ jail on Tuesday (Sept 26). She had pleaded guilty to two counts of giving false evidence to the police and the State Courts.
Two other similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.
Her former boss Sophie Gill, 52, has been charged for her alleged role in the offences and will be dealt with separately.
The court heard that at the time of the incident, Chng had been employed as an administrative officer at Raffles Human Resource, an employment agency ran by Gill.
From 2015, Gill was in a relationship with someone named Ryan Riad, 42. They ran a restaurant together at 23 Bali Lane in the Kampong Glam district.
Sometime around April 2016, Mr Riad broke up with Gill after he discovered that she was married to another man.
He later married another woman in January 2017 and removed Gill as a director so that he may run the restaurant alone.
Between March 31 and May in 2017, Gill and Mr Riad made multiple police reports against each other for alleged harassment and assault.
On April 11 that year, Mr Riad obtained an Expedited Protection Order (EPO) against Gill that prohibited her from trying to contact him or his wife, but it expired on May 8.
He was then granted another EPO on May 23 in 2017.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Tan Pei Wei said that on that same day, Gill and Chng visited Mr Riad’s restaurant where Gill allegedly proceeded to shout vulgarities at him and kicked two chairs.
She was also said to have picked up an iPad at the restaurant and declared that it was hers.
Mr Riad told Gill and Chng to leave several times but they did not budge, so he locked the main door to the restaurant and left while the women were still inside, DPP Tan added.
Gill and Chng then called the police several times and when officers arrived, the women told them that Mr Riad had assaulted both of them before he locked them in the restaurant.
That evening, Gill allegedly told her other employee Diangkinay Reywin Bunquin to meet her and Chng in a car park at Golden Landmark Shopping Complex along Victoria Street.
Gill purportedly said that she intended to lodge a police report against Mr Riad for assaulting her and allegedly told Mr Reywin to hit her so that she could pretend that the resulting injuries were caused by Mr Riad, DPP Tan said.
Mr Reywin complied with his boss’ alleged instructions by punching and kicking her, causing bruises on her upper left arm and right leg.
Gill also allegedly instructed Chng to memorise a false account that Mr Riad had assaulted them both and to convey it to the authorities, DPP Tan added.
The women then visited Tan Tock Seng Hospital where Chng relayed the false account of events to the examining doctor.
In the early morning of May 24, both Chng and Gill made police reports against Mr Riad for assaulting them.
Under Gill’s alleged instructions, Chng went on to give two more statements to the police and to file a Magistrate’s Complaint against Mr Riad, DPP Tan said.
A Magistrate’s Complaint is an application to a court magistrate to examine an alleged offence and give directions for further action.
Chng filed the complaint with a copy of her false police report, which summarised how Mr Riad had allegedly assaulted her and Gill.
She went on to sign on each page of the complaint and swore that it was true and correct despite knowing that the entire account was false, DPP Tan stated.
On July 11, 2017, Chng gave a further statement to the police where she recanted all her false statements and admitted to having made them on Gill’s alleged instructions.
Chng claimed that Gill had persuaded her to do so and withheld her salary until she complied with instructions, DPP Tan said.
Chng also told the police that she wanted to tell the truth after her last day of work at Gill’s company.
Seeking a total of six weeks’ jail for his client, defence counsel Ashwin Ganapathy urged the court to consider that Chng was only 21 when she committed the offence and her former boss played a bigger role.
The lawyer added that once Chng finishes serving her sentence, she will continue to assist the prosecution in the investigation against Gill.
For giving false evidence in any stage of a judicial proceeding, Chng could have been jailed up to seven years and fined.
For giving false statements to the police, she could have been jailed up to two years or fined, or both.