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Matchmaking agency wrecker flip-flops on plea

'CHEATED': It was revealed in court that Zhang was suffering from a "stress-related medical condition".


    Jan 23, 2015

    Matchmaking agency wrecker flip-flops on plea

    WHAT started out as an attempt to spice up her love life became a tale full of action of a far different sort.

    When Zhang Xiu Chun signed up with a matchmaking agency in February 2012, she expected success, but that was not what she received, Chinese evening dailies reported yesterday.

    After two failed matchmaking attempts, the 39-year-old Singapore permanent resident withdrew her membership from Good Luck Friends Centre and had part of her membership fees refunded the following month.

    But the passing of a year did nothing to quell Zhang's dissatisfaction and on May 11, 2013, she returned to the agency at Parklane Shopping Mall. She stormed into the office brandishing a 34cm-long hammer and damaged several office items.

    The subsequent damage amounted to $880 worth of property, including a table, The New Paper reported yesterday.

    Zhang has since pleaded guilty to one charge of mischief.

    However, in court on Wednesday, Zhang was unsure of her plea and disputed the $800 value of the table she had damaged.

    Her lawyer, S. H. Almenoar, apologised to District Judge Kamala Ponnampalam for the delay and asked to speak to Zhang.

    The accused further hampered court proceedings by asking for "five minutes to consider" her plea and stated that she was feeling sick.

    When asked about her position, Zhang replied in Mandarin: "I had admitted to the damage (caused to the table and other items). But I used to work in a furniture company and it (the price of the damaged table) can't exceed this price."

    To further complicate matters, her lawyer had applied to discharge himself.

    In response, Zhang said she "accepted everything" and wanted Mr Almenoar to represent her.

    Upon resuming his role, the lawyer said his client had confronted the agency owner as "she felt that she was taken for a ride".

    It was revealed in court that Zhang was suffering from a "stress-related medical condition". He said: "It was an attack on her womanhood. She felt she was cheated into being a social escort."

    Judge Kamala called for a mandatory treatment order suitability report before sentencing Zhang.

    After three hours in court, the accused was escorted out to be treated for breathing difficulties.

    She will next appear in court on Feb 26.

    If found guilty of mischief with damage amounting to more than $500, she can be jailed for not more than two years.