updated 24 Dec 2011, 07:09
user id password
Sun, Nov 20, 2011
The New Paper
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
"I stayed with him out of fear"
by Pearly Tan

HE WAS violent towards her during their relationship and ended up in jail after she made police reports.

Each time, she forgave him. But after his third stint in prison, she decided that she had had enough.

Still, Ben, 42, a delivery driver, would not give up. He would loiter around her home, ambush her and ask to get back together.

Janet, 45, a human resource consultant, said she gave in to his demands because she was afraid he would hurt her.

And true enough, he went back to his old ways.

This time, Ben ended up being charged with one count each of wrongfully restraining her and insulting her modesty.

Ben also faced three counts of criminal intimidation, which included threatening to send a video of them having sex to Janet's colleagues and her teenage daughter from an earlier marriage, and to upload it on the Internet.

Their real names cannot be used as there is a court order against identifying the woman.

Ben claimed trial. Midway through, four of the charges were withdrawn.

Yesterday, Ben was fined $1,500 after pleading guilty to wrongfully restraining Janet in the carpark of Great World City shopping centre on Feb 2.

Theirs was a bittersweet relationship that goes back to 1996, when they met at a friend's hairdressing salon and went out on a date.

But they had no chemistry and did not contact each other again.

Then, in 2004, they met again by chance and sparks flew. Ben moved in with Janet.

About two years after they became a couple, the relationship turned violent.

Once, Ben hit her ex-boyfriend for taking her home, she told The New Paper this week.

She said: "He got so angry that he got into his car and cornered the car we were in.

"When my ex-boyfriend got out of the car, Ben attacked him with a car jack and he bled badly. The ambulance had to take him to the hospital."

For that, Ben was jailed eight months in February 2007.

After his release, they got back together. But Ben hit her whenever she wanted to leave him and even took her to cemeteries at night to beat her so that no one could hear her cries for help.

On Oct 20, 2007, they quarrelled after she told him she did not like the music playing on his car stereo and wanted him to change it.

"He told me to change it myself, but I said I didn't know how to do it and he got angry," said Janet.

He then drove her to Changi Jetty and punched her on the face. He assaulted her again on Feb 6 and July 10 in 2008, leaving her with severe injuries.

Attacked her again

And on Aug 21 that year, Ben slapped Janet, pulled her hair,slammed her head against the car seat repeatedly and tried to rip off her dress and underwear.

Ben was arrested after a police report was made, and he was charged on Aug 23.

While out on bail on condition that he not approach or speak to Janet, he went to her home and attacked her again. Ben was jailed 15 months for the assaults.

When Janet spoke to The New Paper at that time, she said she would do anything to avoid Ben after he was released.

But she relented.

Speaking to The New Paper this week, she said: "At that point, I still had a little bit of feelings for him.

"I had written to him in prison, telling him to leave me alone. I never received any reply but on the day he was released, he called me and asked to meet.

"I agreed because I thought that after his time in jail, he would change. I wanted to give him and our relationship another chance."

They got back together but just one month after promising never to lay his hands on her again, Ben did just that.

Their relationship was on and off. One day, Ben went into Janet's flat while she was out and lay in wait for her. She was unaware of his presence as she cooked, ate dinner and watched TV. It was only when she walked out of the shower naked and went to her bedroom that he revealed himself.

Ben was charged with housebreaking and in March last year, he was sentenced to eight months' jail.

Janet said he looked her up again after his release last month. This time, she no longer wanted anything to do with him.

Said Janet: "I realised that I really couldn't continue like this and wanted to end it. I had enough of him. "He was beating me all the time, and I was doing things just so I wouldn't be beaten."

She had changed her mobile number and her job.

But as she was still living in the same flat they used to share, he sought her out there.

Ben began stalking her. He waited near her home and ambushed her at bus stops, car parks and the lift landing of her block.

Janet said that they ended up having sex several times because she was scared of Ben.

"I didn't really want to meet him, but I was afraid of saying no to him because I knew his temper."

She said that to avoid being hit by him, she had sex with him at her flat or in budget hotels. On several occasions,Ben filmed them in bed.

"I lived in constant fear, even looking over my shoulder when I am driving," she added.

Then on Feb 2 this year, things came to a boil.

Ben ambushed Janet at her car at Great World City, where she was shopping. The court was told that he pushed her into the driver's seat and then forced her to move to the passenger's seat before getting in.

Ben locked the doors and drove them to West Coast where he allegedly insulted her modesty. This charge was later dropped.

She made a police report soon after this incident, and Ben was arrested again.

In May, Janet started a relationship with another man. "My boyfriend knows about (Ben) and accepts meas I am. I told him everything there is to know about one month after we got together," she said.

She added that when Ben found out about her new boyfriend, he was extremely angry and accused her of two-timing him.

But she is determined not to go back to Ben and wants to close that episode of her life.

Janet is now engaged to her boyfriend and they plan to get married in 2013.

She said: "I have met someone, and he is my protector.

I have changed my job, my mobile number, and soon,myaddress as well.

"I hope that (Ben) can move on with his life, too.

There are many women out there."

readers' comments

I feel that ex convict shd be given a chance to change for the better. Help should be extended to them.
Posted by averagecitizen on Sun, 20 Nov 2011 at 14:59 PM
Singapore's laws on protecting individuals are a joke - how can you keep releasing a former criminal back into society when he has 'proven' beyond doubt that he is a serial law-breaker?

In the US, there's this '3-strike' rule where if a citizen commits a felony 3 times, he/she will be locked up for a very long time to prevent him/her from menacing society.
Posted by bats4ever on Sun, 20 Nov 2011 at 14:46 PM
His inability to cope with the pathology of obsessive,compulsive disorder; probably finds her vulnerable, easy to intimidate.
Best, that he seeks help sooner the better.
Posted by Aiyayayayai on Sun, 20 Nov 2011 at 12:36 PM
This human trash needs "preemptive incarceration". In fact, would be better if he can be straightforwardly put away.
Posted by karl-heinz on Sun, 20 Nov 2011 at 09:46 AM
Maybe forgot to switch on lights so can't see properly.
Posted by sock_min on Sun, 20 Nov 2011 at 07:48 AM
This man needs help before he kills someone.
Posted by mystrawberry on Sun, 20 Nov 2011 at 07:42 AM

Copyright © 2011 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.