SINGAPORE — A man who lied about failing to consummate his marriage with his wife before a court of justice was jailed for a week on Tuesday (22 December).
In fact, Daryl Lim Chun Leng, 25, had consensual sex with his 24-year-old Chinese national wife, Wang Ke Chen. Both had decided to lie about failing to consummate their marriage in order to annul the marriage, as the cost of proceedings would be cheaper and both wanted to avoid having a divorcee status.
Lim, a Singaporean, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false claim before a court of justice.
Marital troubles six months after marriage
The couple got married on 19 January 2017 but started having marital troubles six months later, after Wang found that Lim was having an affair.
In July that year, Lim suggested to Wang to have their marriage annulled on the basis that the marriage had not been consummated. He told Wang that the option to annul was cheaper and that both could avoid being “divorced”.
Lim also promised to maintain appearances in front of Wang’s parents and assist her with her future requests. Wang agreed to the suggestion.
In fact, both had been having sex all along since their marriage. Investigations later revealed that they continued having sex even after Lim initiated the annulment and until it was made final in November 2017.
On 19 July 2017, Lim instructed law firm Messrs Circular Law Chambers LLP to commence annulment proceedings through a writ of summons. He filed several documents, including a statement of claim that stated that the marriage had not been consummated due to Wang’s wilful refusal.
In one of his documents, Lim stated, “On the night of 19 January 2017, parties returned home and the Plaintiff attempted to initiate physical intimacy but the Defendant wilfully refused to consummate the relationship as she said that she was ‘not in the mood’ and went straight to sleep...”
Based on the false claim, a District Judge made an order on 18 August 2017 in the Family Justice Courts for an Interim Judgement to be granted, pronouncing that Lim had sufficient proved the contents of the statement of claim and that the marriage was declared void.
Abused powers of the court
Seeking a jail term of two weeks, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Jaime Pang said that the offence abused the powers of the court. He stated that the couple should have gone through the divorce route, but Lim instead received legal rights and a status he was not entitled to.
Lim’s lawyer Chong Xin Yi highlighted the difficult circumstances of the marriage, including an incident where the police had been called. She did not elaborate about the incident, save that Lim had not made a police report.
She added that her client was “placed in an extremely difficult situation and had been desperate to get out of (it).” She also highlighted Lim’s youth at the time of the offence.
Asked by the judge what the status of the marriage was, DPP Pang said that he was not aware of a resolution, but that Wang had left Singapore for China for good.
For making a false claim before a court of justice, Lim could have been jailed up to two years, and fined.
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