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Lawyer Samuel Seow had adjustment disorder during his 2018 office 'rampage': Defence witness

Lawyer Samuel Seow had adjustment disorder during his 2018 office 'rampage': Defence witness

Source: Straits Times
Article Date: 03 Feb 2021
Author: Shaffiq Alkhatib

The incident involving Samuel Seow Theng Beng was caught on video and circulated on social media.

A psychiatrist testifying for a lawyer to the celebrities said on Tuesday (Feb 2) that Samuel Seow Theng Beng was suffering from adjustment disorder when he flew into a rage in his office, an incident which was caught on video and circulated on social media.

Seow, who owned several companies then, including talent agency Beam Artistes and Samuel Seow Law Corporation, had assaulted one colleague and used criminal force on another amid the ensuing chaos.

Defence witness Tan Chue Tin testified that Seow had encountered "major stressors" prior to the "rampage", which happened on April 17, 2018.

The psychiatrist in private practice, who had seen Seow eight times from 2019 until January this year, told District Judge Ronald Gwee that one of the stressors involved the lawyer's move from his old office in Hoe Chiang Road to a bigger unit in South Bridge Road.

As part of the move, Seow had to perform multiple tasks, including negotiating terms with the new landlord, said Dr Tan.

He added that the lawyer had also called in a Feng Shui master to "clean" the premises after his staff claimed that it was "haunted".

During the hearing to determine whether Seow had the disorder before, during or after he committed the offences, Dr Tan described another contributor to the stress the lawyer was under.

Seow's niece - lawyer Brenda Kong Shin Ying, then 26 - had decided to leave his firm in March 2018. Dr Tan said that Seow had been grooming her to take over the firm.

The psychiatrist said Seow's condition had improved after treatment, adding that he is "very unlikely" to repeat the offences.

Seow, now 47, had pleaded guilty in July last year to assaulting Ms Kong and using criminal force on Ms Rachel Kang Pei Shan, then 21, who was working as an artiste and events executive for Beam Artistes.

Seow was running his own firm at the time of the offences but an online search showed that he is now a consultant at another law firm.

At the time of his conviction last year, Samuel Seow Law Corporation had become SSLC, a firm which provides management consultancy services with Seow as its shareholder.

The incident in 2018 happened at the law firm's South Bridge Road office.

Ms Kang was about to leave for a company event when Seow reprimanded her. He then prodded her forehead twice before pushing a file she was holding, causing her to stagger backwards.

Minutes later, Seow asked aloud for the whereabouts of the firm's associate director. The court heard that Ms Kong had heard her uncle but did not respond.

Seow later spotted her and repeated his question before assaulting his niece.

The hearing continues with the prosecution witness, Dr Kenneth Koh from the Institute of Mental Health, expected to testify at a later stage.

Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.

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