Man jailed for lying in court to get marriage annulled

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SINGAPORE — A man who lied about not consummating his marriage to his wife in court was jailed for a week on Tuesday (December 22).

In fact, 25-year-old Daryl Lim Chun Leng had consensual sex with his 24-year-old Chinese wife, Wang Ke Chen. Both had decided to lie about not having consummated their marriage in order to annul the marriage, as the cost of the procedure would be cheaper and both wanted to avoid having divorced status.

Lim, a Singaporean, pleaded guilty to one count of misrepresentation in court.

Marital troubles six months after marriage

The couple married on January 19, 2017, but began having marital problems six months later after Wang found out Lim was having an affair.

In July of that year, Lim suggested that Wang have their marriage annulled on the grounds that the marriage had not been consummated. He told Wang that the option to cancel was cheaper and the two could avoid being “divorced”.

Lim also promised to keep up appearances in front of Wang’s parents and help her with future demands. Wang accepted the suggestion.

In fact, the two had had sex since their marriage. Investigations later revealed that they continued to have sex even after Lim initiated the cancellation and until it was made final in November 2017.

On July 19, 2017, Lim instructed the law firm Messrs Circular Law Chambers LLP to commence annulment proceedings by way of subpoena. He filed several documents, including a statement stating that the marriage had not been consummated due to Wang’s deliberate refusal.

In one of his documents, Lim said: “On the night of January 19, 2017, the parties returned home and the plaintiff attempted to initiate physical intimacy, but the defendant deliberately refused to consummate the relationship because she said she was ‘not in the mood’ and went straight to sleep…”

Based on the false claim, a district judge issued an order on August 18, 2017 in family court for an interim judgment, stating that Lim had sufficiently proved the contents of the statement and that the marriage had been declared void.

Abusive powers of the court

Seeking a two-week prison sentence, Deputy Attorney General (DPP) Jaime Pang said the offense abused the powers of the court. He said the couple should have gone down the divorce route, but instead Lim was given legal rights and status he was not entitled to.

Lim’s lawyer, Chong Xin Yi, pointed to the difficult circumstances of the marriage, including an incident where the police were called. She did not give details of the incident, except that Lim had not made a police report.

She added that her client was “placed in an extremely difficult situation and was desperately trying to get out of it”. She also pointed to Lim’s youth at the time of the offense.

Asked by the judge about the status of the marriage, DPP Pang said he was unaware of a resolution, but Wang had left Singapore for China for good.

For making a false statement in a court of law, Lim could have been imprisoned for up to two years and fined.

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