Dog owner hit with heavier sentence
She gets four weeks' jail for mistreating dogs at second trial after retracting guilty plea
A dog owner sentenced to 10 days in jail two years ago for mistreating her pets had her sentence more than doubled yesterday after a court allowed her to retract her original guilty plea.
Chng Leng Khim, 45, claimed that the lawyer at her original hearing in February 2016 had pressured her into pleading guilty to animal mistreatment charges. Chng was sentenced to 10 days' jail and fined $3,100.
In October that year, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon accepted the single mother's contention and a new hearing took place.
But after a 12-day trial in January, District Judge Kessler Soh found the 45-year-old guilty of three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to her dogs - a bull mastiff cross, poodle and chow chow - and three counts of owning them without licences.
She has now been sentenced to four weeks' jail and fined $6,000.
According to court papers, Chng and her three children moved out of their Paya Lebar home on June 11, 2013 after failing to pay rent.
That day, staff from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found the poodle near the home. Two days later, Chng's landlady found the other two dogs in the unit and alerted the AVA. The animals were thin and infested with ticks.
On July 18, 2013, an AVA officer met Chng at Ang Mo Kio Police Division and asked her to make a statement at his office. She failed to turn up and was arrested on June 30, 2015.
Chng, who was unrepresented, testified that she did not take the dogs to a vet as they did not have any health issues. She also claimed she attended to the animals and fed them well.
The chow chow and poodle were rehomed, but the bull mastiff had to be euthanised.