Sometimes, when you’re angry, you may not be able to control the words you say. In certain situations, you may not be able to control your actions either. But of course, that doesn’t give you the excuse to physically assault someone.
In case you didn’t hear about the lawyer who assaulted three of his female employees in his office, one of whom is his niece, here’s everything you need to know.
47-year-old Samuel Seow Theng Beng is a lawyer who owned a few companies, including Samuel Seow Law Corporation and talent agency Beam Artistes.
According to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority’s website, he is still a director of Beam Artistes despite his offences.
Samuel Seow Law Corporation is also now known as SSLC instead. It offers management consultancy services and Seow is now just a shareholder.
He is currently working as a consultant in another law firm.
Eh, weird. I know.
The First Victim
On 17 April 2018, 21-year-old Ms Rachel Kang Pei Shan was at Seow’s office, Samuel Seow Law Corporation, at South Bridge Road.
She was an artiste and events executive for Beam Artistes and was preparing to leave the office to attend a company event when Seow scolded her at around 5.47pm.
According to Deputy Public Prosecutor Kumaresan Gohulabalan, “The accused was upset with Rachel as she had (left) uncompleted work and was leaving the office without properly accounting (for) her work to him. In his anger, the accused forcefully poked Rachel’s forehead twice with his right index finger. Using his right hand, the accused also pushed a file that Rachel was holding on to, causing her to stagger back.”
The Second Victim
About three minutes later, Seow asked where the firm’s associate director was. Despite 26-year-old Ms Brenda Kong Shin Ying hearing the question, she remained quiet.
It was only after Seow spotted her and directed his question to her that she replied that the associate director was in a meeting from 4pm to 5pm. She then said that she wasn’t sure where he went afterward.
He then got frustrated and asked why she didn’t answer when he asked earlier.
DPP Kumaresan said, “The accused came close to Brenda’s face and Brenda raised her arm across her chest to protect herself, fearing that the accused may get violent. In doing so, Brenda accidentally touched the accused’s chest.”
He charged towards her and shouted, “You beat me… You dare to beat me.”
The commotion drew the attention of other colleagues who tried to get Seow to stop.
At one point in time, he even grabbed her left arm and pushed her back.
One male colleague tried to hold Seow back but he broke free and attacked her again. He slapped her on the face and head multiple times and she retaliated by hitting his face once.
All of the other colleagues kept pleading for him to stop fighting but he wouldn’t listen.
He later pushed her against the table and caused her to fall back. Another male colleague immediately stepped in and hugged Seow from the back and pushed him elsewhere so that he wouldn’t be near Ms Kong.
Other colleagues then quickly told Ms Kong to leave the vicinity and she slipped away to Parkway East Hospital.
When she was there, she was found with injuries like a bruise on her right arm and an abrasion on her right thigh. Due to the injuries, she was given three days of medical leave.
The Third Victim
After Ms Kong left, Ms Serene Tan Tzuu Yen became the target of his attacks.
She told him to calm down but instead, her words added fuel to his fire and he got even more heated up.
He kept explaining his actions but she condemned him for continuously beating his niece, which obviously wasn’t right.
He then got so angry that he pushed her to the ground despite his male colleague trying his best to restrain him.
Two other colleagues helped to escort Ms Tan away from Seow and she managed to get away.
The Court Hearing
The incident was captured on closed-circuit television camera in the office and the video was also uploaded onto YouTube, though it is unknown as to who did it.
Seow has pleaded guilty to one count each of assaulting Ms Kong and using criminal force on Ms Kang.
There will also be a consideration for a harassment charge and a second charge of using criminal force during sentencing.
The case has been adjourned to a hearing to determine if Seow had adjustment disorder before, during, or after he assaulted the women.
His pre-trial conference will be held on 13 August.
No Tolerance For Such Behaviour
In response to this incident, the Law Society expressed that it has no tolerance for lawyers who abuse or harass staff.
It said, “We take a dim view of such conduct that brings the profession into disrepute.”
With regard to the incident, the Law Society has filed an application to the Court of Three Judges for Seow to prove why he does not deserve to be sanctioned.
A date for a hearing before the Court of Three Judges will be applied after the conclusion of Seow’s criminal proceedings.
If he is convicted of assault, Seow will be subjected to a jail term of two years and a fine of $5,000.
If he is convicted of using criminal force, he will be subjected to a jail term of three months and a fine of $1,500.