Animal rights activist harasses wrong person for hitting dog with car
Animal shelter director fined after posting details of driver he thought had hit it
Riled up by a hit-and-run incident involving a dog from an animal shelter, he decided to harass the woman he believed to be the driver.
But Mark Lin Youcheng, 27, who was then a volunteer at the shelter, had identified the wrong woman based on unverified information.
He was fined $1,400 yesterday after pleading guilty to one harassment charge.
A similar charge was taken into consideration.
On Oct 23, 2016, Lin, who is now the director of animal welfare group Society for Animal Matters, came across a Facebook post about a shelter dog that had been run over by a driver at Pasir Ris Farmway.
The next day, he received unverified information regarding the identity of the driver and published it online.
He posted the personal details of a 41-year-old woman on Facebook and followed up with another post urging others to "give her hell".
The details included her NRIC number, name, address, vehicle number and model.
But the woman, who was the owner of the car, was not the driver at the time of the incident.
After her personal information had been shared online, she received harassment calls and messages from strangers who assumed she was the driver.
She made a police report on Oct 25, 2016, over Lin's post.
Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Kelvin Chong urged the court to impose a $2,000 fine, citing the need for deterrence.
But Lin's lawyer Joel Ng asked the court to instead bond Lin for $1,000 to keep the peace, or impose a fine of $500.
He added that the woman had already been paid $12,500 by Lin and another person to settle a civil defamation suit against them out of court.
Lin also posted an apology on Facebook in February last year.
According to court documents, Ms Alice Chong Say Kiaw, 52, was the driver at the time of the incident.
She is believed to have borrowed the car.
The wrongly identified woman issued a statement to The New Paper in 2016 following the incident, clarifying she was not the driver.
She said then that the untruthful posts had affected her livelihood and adversely affected her colleagues as well.
For each charge of harassment, Lin could have been fined up to $5,000.