Brompton bikes case: Former NParks officer to appeal conviction of lying to auditors

Former National Parks Board (NParks) assistant director Bernard Lim Yong Soon leaving the State Courts on June 10, 2014. Former National Parks Board (NParks) officer Bernard Lim Yong Soon is appealing his May 29 conviction for lying to the Minis
Former National Parks Board (NParks) assistant director Bernard Lim Yong Soon leaving the State Courts on June 10, 2014. Former National Parks Board (NParks) officer Bernard Lim Yong Soon is appealing his May 29 conviction for lying to the Ministry of National Development over his relationship with a bicycle firm director. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

SINGAPORE - Former National Parks Board (NParks) officer Bernard Lim Yong Soon is appealing his May 29 conviction for lying to the Ministry of National Development over his relationship with a bicycle firm director.

Lim was found guilty of the offence, in relation to a $57,200 bicycle deal, following a nine-day trial. The 42-year-old was fined $5,000 on Tuesday but spared jail, even though prosecutors asked for at least three to four months' imprisonment. He was also sacked by NParks.

However, the Attorney-General's Chambers filed a notice of appeal on Wednesday against the sentence. It also challenged Lim's acquittal on a second charge, of instigating a bicycle firm director to perpetuate the lie.

On Thursday, his lawyer Lawrence Ang said the defence had filed a notice of appeal for his conviction on the first charge. It is rare for a person who has not been given a jail sentence to challenge his conviction.

In convicting Lim, District Judge Marvin Bay said he had effectively tried to give the MND auditors the wrong impression of what was actually a "highly supportive and nurturing friendship" between the two.

Lim had tipped off the owner of Bikehop, a bicycle retailer, about an upcoming tender he was in charge of to help the man. As a result, the company put in the sole, successful bid to supply 26 foldable Brompton bikes to NParks in January 2012. Afraid of being discovered after the deal came under public scrutiny over the $2,200 cost of each bicycle, Lim lied to the Ministry of National Development during an audit that year.

He had falsely claimed he had first met the director of firm Bikehop in March 2012 to discuss a delay in the delivery of a batch of the bikes.

The men actually met in September or October 2011.

Despite the conviction, the court acquitted Lim of instigating the other man to lie, saying the bicycle firm's director had more likely acted out of personal anxiety to keep the two men's stories consistent.