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Entertainment lawyer Samuel Seow pleads guilty to assaulting, threatening 3 employees including niece

SINGAPORE — More than two years after an audio clip of him assaulting his niece in his office went viral, high-profile entertainment lawyer Samuel Seow Theng Beng has pleaded guilty to the offence.

Lawyer Samuel Seow outside the former State Courts in July last year.

Lawyer Samuel Seow outside the former State Courts in July last year.

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  • Seow was looking for a staff of the firm and asked aloud where he was
  • He assaulted his niece because she did not answer his question immediately
  • Psychiatrists disagree on whether Seow had adjustment disorder at the time
  • He has not been sentenced

 

SINGAPORE — More than two years after an audio clip of him assaulting his niece in his office went viral, high-profile entertainment lawyer Samuel Seow Theng Beng has pleaded guilty to the offence.

Seow, 47, also admitted in a district court on Monday (July 27) to forcefully poking another employee’s forehead that same day.

Seow owns Samuel Seow Law Corporation, and is well known in the local entertainment scene for representing celebrities, including former actress Michelle Saram and singer-songwriter Tanya Chua, in legal cases.

He also runs artiste management firm Beam Artistes, which organises the annual Manhunt Singapore pageant.

The audio clip of Seow assaulting his niece was leaked in 2018, shortly after the incident. A year later, a video of the assault, which was taken from the firm’s closed-circuit television camera, was uploaded on YouTube.

The video was played in court on Monday. Seow kept his head down throughout most of it.

He has not been sentenced as the prosecution’s psychiatrist and his own psychiatrist disagree on whether he was suffering from adjustment disorder at the time of his offences.

The prosecution’s psychiatrist contends that Seow developed the mental illness after the incidents, Seow’s lawyer Choo Si Sen said. Mr Choo asked the court to call for a report to assess if his client is suitable for a mandatory treatment order. 

A mandatory treatment order is a community sentencing option offered to offenders suffering from mental conditions that contributed to the offence. 

However, District Judge Ronald Gwee called for a pre-trial conference to be held on Aug 13, in order to take dates for a Newton hearing. 

Such hearings are held during the sentencing process when facts that may materially affect the sentence are disputed, including conflicting medical reports.

WHAT HAPPENED

According to court documents, Seow first threatened his employee Rachel Kang on April 3, 2018 by telling her: “I will take a knife and kill you.” No further details were given.

Two weeks later, on April 17, Seow grew upset with Ms Kang as she had not finished her work and was already leaving the office.

Ms Kang, now 21, was at the time employed at Beam Artistes as an artiste and events executive, and was leaving the office that day to prepare for a company event. 

Seow “forcefully poked” her forehead twice with his finger before pushing a file that she was holding, causing her to stagger backwards, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Kumaresan Gohulabalan told the court.

Seow’s niece Brenda Kong, who was working as a lawyer for his firm, witnessed the incident. 

Ms Kong, now 26, left her mobile phone on voice recording mode while walking to the photocopying machine, in case a similar incident were to happen again.

While the voice recorder was on, Seow asked aloud where an associate director of his firm was. When Seow saw Ms Kong, he repeated the question to her.

Ms Kong replied that the associate director had had a meeting outside the office earlier that day, but that she did not know where he went afterwards.

Seow got angry and asked Ms Kong why she had not responded when he had first asked about the other man’s whereabouts earlier. She replied that she did not know where he was.

Unsatisfied with her answer, Seow repeated his question as he walked towards her till he came close to Ms Kong’s face.

At this point she raised her arm across her chest to protect herself, but accidentally touched his chest.

He then shouted her name before repeatedly saying: “You beat me, you beat me, you dare to beat me.” 

He also grabbed her arm and pushed her back.

At this point, another employee intervened and held onto Seow. However, Seow broke free and slapped his niece several times on her cheeks and the top of her head.

Ms Kong then struck Seow once on his face. At one point, Seow charged towards her and pushed her against a table, causing her to fall.

Seow also struck another employee, Ms Serene Tan, on the arm when she and her fellow colleagues tried to intervene.

Ms Kong eventually managed to leave the office. She sought treatment at Parkway East Hospital for several injuries and was given three days of medical leave.

For voluntarily causing hurt to Ms Kong, Seow could be jailed up to two years, fined up to S$5,000 or both.

For using criminal force on Ms Kang, he could be jailed up to three months, fined up to S$1,500 or both.

Related topics

Samuel Seow court crime assault

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