SINGAPORE — A 43-year-old Singaporean woman allegedly had an affair with a married man, giving birth to a girl in 2011. The man took the toddler home two years later, and he and his wife subsequently adopted the child.
But the mistress could not bear it. Over some seven years, she is said to have harassed the wife on social media and made at least 100 police reports against her family.
The woman is now on trial for unlawfully stalking the adoptive mother of her daughter, now nine.
She faces a charge of unlawfully stalking the adoptive mother between 10 December 2019 and 23 August 2020, by making 32 posts on Facebook and Instagram relating to the alleged victim and her family.
None of the parties can be named to protect the identity of the alleged victim and the child.
'I will fight for her sake': Witness
The adoptive mother, who took the stand on the second day of the trial on Wednesday (15 September), said that she was not aware of the affair, and only came to know of the child in November 2013. According to the witness, her husband met the accused woman through a friend at a nightclub.
“My husband found out the child was abandoned and neglected so he think (sic) that he need to bring this child and he got no choice but to bring back to my house, so he told me about the incident,” said the woman, who has two other children, a daughter aged 24 and a son aged 26.
Asked by the prosecution about her reaction when informed of the child, the woman's voice broke.
“Of course, as a woman, nobody will accept it in the first place, when suddenly just this thing appear, but he got no choice because for the sake of the child, he brought back the child. I didn’t believe it at first,” she said emotionally.
"You won’t accept the truth when a man just simply tell you like that, but the child that night came back to the house and was attached to me, and my husband mentioned himself also didn't know whether this child belong to him or not,” she added.
“I told my husband regardless (if she's) your child or not your child, this child is already in the house, I will fight for her sake, as I know she is abandoned and neglected, I will fight for the sake of the child I will definitely get this child, become my child,” she testified.
'I want my baby home': Accused
At several points, the accused woman interjected, claiming that she would not give away her daughter and that it was against the law to do so.
She was reminded by District Judge Sarah Tan that she should only speak at the appropriate moment. However, the accused continued interrupting the hearing as the witness gave evidence. “I want my baby home, she is my real baby,” she exclaimed.
“Why you snatch my baby? She is just a toddler, do you know that?”, added the accused, who also shouted “liar” at the witness.
At one point, the judge stood down proceedings until all parties showed that they could behave appropriately for the trial. When the trial resumed, the accused continued to interject. She apologised when reprimanded by the judge.
DJ Tan replied, “ I don’t think you are sorry…you have not manifested that you are sorry. Don’t pay lip service.”
The accused kept silent after the judge's remarks.
Adoption of girl fraught with legal proceedings
The night the girl, then aged around two, first arrived in the witness' house, the married couple went to buy baby products, expecting to keep her.
However, they learned that a police officer had visited their home, informing their helper that the toddler must be brought to the Police Cantonment Complex. The accused had made a police report, claiming that her daughter had been kidnapped and raped by the witness’ husband.
The couple brought the toddler to the police station, where the husband was investigated and the toddler returned to the accused. That evening, KK Women's and Children's Hospital contacted the husband, stating that his daughter was there due to the rape allegation.
The allegations were proven to be baseless a few days later and the accused woman sent to be examined at the Institute of Mental Health. “We thought the child will never come to back to us anymore, but I don’t know, maybe by God’s grace this child is belong (sic) to us," said the woman.
The couple were then notified to approach the Ministry of Social and Family Development for the proper adoption procedure. They immediately engaged a lawyer to assist with legal matters, said the witness.
Court proceedings spanned years, with both sides - the married couple and the accused woman - tussling over the care, control and custody of the child. From 2013, interim orders granting control and care of the toddler to the couple were made, with the accused woman granted supervised access once or a few times a week.
The couple applied for an adoption order in 2017, but it was only granted in November 2020.
Police reports made against couple
Meanwhile, the accused woman made numerous allegations against the couple, lodging some 100 police reports between 2013 and 2020, causing police officers to visit the couple's residence at least 50 times.
Asked about the nature of these allegations, the witness said they were mostly about the family abusing the child.
On one occasion, the accused allegedly impersonated the witness to allege that a helper was poking the eyeball of the child “out of the eye”, spurring police officers, the Singapore Civil Defence Force and an ambulance to arrive at the witness’ doorstep at around 2am.
“So we were shocked…the police came to the room and saw the child was sleeping, nothing happened.” The police reports occurred so frequently that the police decided to call the witness first instead of disturbing the family.
“I feel very upset and really very disappointed and all those allegations are really ridiculous allegations and I feel really really fed up about this… I feel very shocked and disturbed and so stressful and each time I went to open my door the moment the doorbell rings…I know it’s always police, they become regular guests in my place.”
Apart from police reports, the accused woman often loitered around the house and once tried to break in via the side gate, said the witness.
The witness came to be aware of the accused woman’s social media accounts from 2018, where the accused would allegedly post personal details of the witness and her family members, including their addresses, and NRICs.
The witness lodged police reports over these posts and would report the accounts so that they were deleted.
The trial continues on Wednesday afternoon.
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