Ex-SCDF officer cleared of unlawfully stalking a woman after compounding the matter

Goh Wee Hong, a former Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) lieutenant-colonel, was cleared of harassment charges after compounding the matter with $4,000.
Goh Wee Hong, a former Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) lieutenant-colonel, was cleared of harassment charges after compounding the matter with $4,000. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A former Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) Lieutenant-Colonel who was earlier accused of harassing a woman, was acquitted of the charge on Friday (Dec 2) after compounding the matter for $4,000.

Mr Goh Wee Hong, 40, who is married with a child, was given a discharge amounting to an acquittal by District Judge Samuel Chua.

He was originally accused of unlawfully stalking by making sexual advances through text messages to the woman, which caused her harassment, between Aug 27 and Aug 30, 2015.

He read out an apology in open court to the woman, who turned up with a male companion. The woman was working for an events management firm that had won a tender for an exhibition Mr Goh was overseeing.

The woman, now 29, declined the $4,000 to be paid personally to her but has donated the money equally to two charities - Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware) and Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (Minds).

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kumaresan Gohulabalan told the court that after Goh was charged in March 2016, the prosecution reviewed the case and interviewed the victim.

At a pre-trial conference, the defence made an offer of composition.

"The consequences of accepting and rejecting the said offer was thoroughly explained to the victim by the prosecution. The victim has confirmed that she is agreeable to composition ...'' said the DPP.

He said having considered the facts and in light of further developments arising after Goh was charged, along with the victim's wish to move on with her life, the Public Prosecutor has consented to composition on the proposed terms.

Mr Tan Hee Joek acted for Mr Goh.

The maximum penalty for the offence under the Protection from Harassment Act is a $5,000 fine and 12 months' jail.