Man threatened girlfriend with sex video after boozy spending spree with lost debit card

SINGAPORE - A man who prevented his girlfriend from returning a debit card she had found went on a $1,000 spending spree with the plastic and then threatened to release a sex video featuring the pair to deter her from reporting him.

Thomas Chua Poh Heng, 40, was sentenced to 18 months' jail on Tuesday (Sept 11) after pleading guilty to one charge of criminal intimidation, two of cheating and one of dishonest misappropriation. He also admitted to two other counts of theft, which were committed in separate shoplifting incidents.

A further eight charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The court heard that Chua's girlfriend had found a debit card at an ATM at Vista Point Shopping Centre on the night of April 26 last year.

She intended to hand it to the bank, but when she returned to the car where Chua was waiting and told him what had happened, he took the card.

Chua also told her that the card could be used, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Huang Jiahui.

Later that night, Chua bought liquor at two pubs, racking up charges of about $1,070 on the card. It is not known from court documents if his girlfriend was with him during these transactions.

The following day, Chua warned his girlfriend not to report him and sent her WhatsApp messages stating: "If you ever report or leak anything about me I will make sure you will be super famous even more than a porn star or any person," said Ms Huang.

He then sent her a 1min 47sec video of the two of them having sex.

Ms Huang told the court that the video was made a few days earlier with the consent of the girlfriend, who was clearly visible.

The girlfriend lodged a police report on the night she received the WhatsApp messages.

In separate incidents, Chua was caught shoplifting at Mustafa Centre in June 2017. He had pocketed a 100ml bottle of Must de Cartier perfume worth $98 and tried to flee when a security officer called after him. He stopped when security officers gave chase. He then offered to pay for the perfume.

He shoplifted again in December 2017, taking a pair of underwear from Spa Bsfit at Festive Hotel in Sentosa while there to book a reflexology appointment.

Chua was also in the news last year after he criticised a Traffic police officer killed on patrol in a Facebook post.

Chua could have been fined and jailed up to 10 years for each count of cheating and dishonestly inducing a delivery of property.