SINGAPORE: A security guard who broke into a condominium unit and molested a maid was sentenced on Thursday (Jul 11) to three years and four months' jail and three strokes of the cane.
After being caught in the act, Jeffry Ali, 33, fled and broke into another unit, where he stole a man's shorts and turned on the television.
He was on drugs, which he regularly took to keep alert during his night shifts, the court heard.
In the early hours of Nov 4 last year, he consumed "batu", street slang for methamphetamine. He had called in sick the day before.
However, a resident at the condominium in the western part of Singapore, that was not named in court documents, let him in as he was wearing his security guard uniform.
Jeffry then broke into a ground-floor unit of the condominium through a window that was left ajar.
At about 5.30am that day, he entered the children's bedroom, where a 35-year-old foreign domestic worker was sleeping with her employer's five-year-old daughter and three-year-old son.
The maid woke up when she felt someone pulling on her legs, and opened her eyes to see Jeffry holding onto a pair of red scissors.
She asked him who he was, as he was a stranger to her, but he warned her to keep quiet.
BROKE INTO HOME, MOLESTED MAID
Jeffry began kissing the maid all over her face and told her he wanted to marry her, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Pei Wei.
He then cut the woman's T-shirt with the scissors, slitting it downwards from the collar. He stopped midway and removed the shirt, before pulling down the maid's shorts and underwear and sitting on top of her.
Her employer's elderly mother entered the room to intervene, shouting to draw the attention of her son and daughter-in-law.
When they arrived, Jeffry told the couple to keep quiet and leave, as he had the scissors with him.
The children had woken up by this point and started crying. Jeffry allowed the kids to be taken away by their parents, but continued holding the maid down on the mattress, asking the others to leave and close the door.
The maid's employer told Jeffry that he would call the police, and his wife went to seek help from neighbours.
Jeffry tried to escape through the window but was unable to do so and eventually left the house via the main door.
BROKE INTO ANOTHER UNIT, USED TOILET, STOLE SHORTS
A few hours later, Jeffry broke into another unit, climbing over a ledge into the kitchen. The victim, Mr Lee Yeon Tze, had gone to East Coast for a camping trip with most of his family members and returned in the late morning.
They felt that something was amiss, as the door was closed and the curtains rolled down, with the sound of the television coming from their bedroom.
They heard someone jumping out from the window and shouted to alert officers, who were nearby.
Mr Lee's sister-in-law had been home at the time, and sent her sister a text at about 9.20am saying she had heard someone using the bathroom and going into the master bedroom.
However, as she thought the unknown man was her brother-in-law's guest, she did not raise any alarm.
Mr Lee called the police, saying that "someone is in my house and he had jumped out of the window".
He and his wife later discovered that S$212 and RM643 were missing from a drawer in their bedroom, along with a pair of red shorts that had been drying in the balcony.
Several officers from the Jurong Police Division and Special Operations Command were at the condominium that morning searching for Jeffry.
ARRESTED IN THE VICTIM'S SHORTS
Jeffry was arrested later that day at the basement car park of the condominium. He was wearing Mr Lee's red shorts and had the stolen cash on him.
Officers searched the unit where Jeffry had molested the maid and found a private security ID with his name, along with a POSB Passion debit card in his name.
They also found a red lighter and a glass utensil with a blue straw attached to it.
Urine samples from Jeffry were found to contain methamphetamine, and he admitted to taking the drug at about 2am that day when he was alone in a park. He said he had smoked "batu" for about eight years, and took it two to three times a week to keep alert during his night shifts as a security guard.
Jeffry pleaded guilty to one charge of aggravated molestation of the maid, house-breaking to commit theft, and taking methamphetamine. Another four charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.
For causing fear of instant hurt to the maid in order to outrage her modesty, Jeffry could have been jailed between two and 10 years and caned.