SINGAPORE —A man stole his estranged wife’s phone to look for intimate recordings in order to confirm his own suspicions that she was having an affair.
The 27-year-old man found compromising photographs and video recordings of his 30-year-old wife, and decided to post them on Facebook for all to see last year, as he “did not want others to share the same fate as him”, court documents stated.
The man whom the wife was allegedly having an affair with was her work supervisor, and his face was clearly visible in images. The husband then accused the supervisor of being a “home-wrecker” and included his name and occupation in the post.
The victim and her supervisor learnt about the public post, which went viral with 1,000 comments and was shared some 2,000 times. It had also garnered 3,000 likes.
While the husband decided to remove the post later due to its attention, he created another Facebook post, uploaded the same intimate images, but blurred the victim’s face, leaving her breasts and the supervisor’s face exposed.
The 27-year-old man pleaded guilty to one count each of distributing intimate images and stealing his wife’s phone on Tuesday (21 September), with two other charges relating to the illicit material to be taken into consideration upon sentencing on 1 October.
While the man and his wife were still married, he had moved out of their matrimonial home in December 2019 and was no longer staying with her at the time of the offences. None of the parties involved can be named due to a gag order.
Stole phone and saved compromising images of wife
On 6 February last year, the woman was in her home when her husband arrived and requested to use the toilet. The woman let him in and the man used the master bedroom’s ensuite toilet, while his wife used the phone outside.
As the man exited the toilet, he stole the woman’s phone and ran out of the house. The victim ran after him but could not catch him.
The man stole his wife’s phone as he suspected that she was having an affair. He searched her phone for pictures and messages to confirm his suspicion. He then found several compromising images and recordings of her, and used his phone to take photographs and videos of those.
Some recordings showed the woman in states of undress, and one photo featured her and her supervisor having sex. Both their faces were visible.
After saving the media, the man returned the phone to his wife but did not tell her what he had done.
Alarmed and humiliated by public Facebook post
On 12 February last year, he decided to post the intimate images on Facebook, deciding that he did not want others to share the same fate as him, according to the prosecution.
He made the post viewable to the public and included the supervisor’s name and occupation, describing him as a home-wrecker and wanted others to be aware of him. He also included screenshots of the conversations between the supervisor and the victim.
An hour later, the supervisor was informed by a friend about the post, and the victim received calls about the post. She felt alarmed and humiliated by the act.
“The accused’s post on Facebook went viral. On 12 February 2020 at sometime around 4 pm, the accused accessed his Facebook account and saw that there were many comments and reactions on the post," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Fong Ke Hui.
"There were about 1,000 comments on the post. The post was shared about 2,000 times by other Facebook users. There were around 3,000 'likes' on the post. The accused decided to remove the post because he did not expect it to receive so much attention,”
Despite removing the post, the man created another post to upload the same images, this time with his wife’s face blurred. He only removed this post one day later.
Theft in dwelling carries a jail term of up to seven years, and a fine. The charge of distributing intimate images carries a jail term of up to five years, or a fine, or caning, or with any combination of the penalties.
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