SINGAPORE: Instead of going home after a night out visiting families for Hari Raya, a previously convicted Peeping Tom went to a nearby block intending to peek at girls inside their flats.
Muhammad Nur Shafiq Omar, a 24-year-old full-time national serviceman with the Singapore Civil Defence Force, was on Wednesday (Jan 15) sentenced to six weeks' jail.
He also received an additional enhanced sentence of 20 days' jail as he had committed the fresh crime while on remission for other offences.
The court heard that Shafiq had gone visiting for Hari Raya on Jun 17 last year when his friend dropped him off at his block in Choa Chu Kang at around 4am.
"However, instead of going back home, the accused decided to go to the nearby (block), with the intention to peep at girls inside their units," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Tay Jia En.
At about 4.30am, Shafiq came across a flat where a 20-year-old woman lived. Court documents did not specify which floor this was on.
He noticed that the bedroom lights were still on, and found that the sliding window of the bedroom was unlocked.
Shafiq then pushed open the sliding window and extended his hand into the flat to push the curtains away.
The victim was in her bedroom when she heard the sound of the window opening and saw Shafiq's hand reaching in.
She screamed in alarm, and Shafiq fled from the flat.
The victim's sister called the police minutes after and asked for them to come quickly.
Shafiq had committed a similar act at around 4am on Jun 1, 2019, by sliding open a bedroom window to insult a woman's modesty.
He pleaded guilty to one count of house-trespass, with another count of attempting to insult a woman's privacy taken into consideration.
The prosecution asked for at least six weeks' jail and an enhanced punishment of 27 days, saying that the offence here was premeditated with Shafiq going to the victim's flat with a clear intention to peek at girls.
The offence was committed at around 4.30am, where the residents were vulnerable, and the offence alarmed the victim.
ACCUSED HAS NOT LEARNT FROM PROBATION, REFORMATIVE TRAINING: PROSECUTOR
Mr Tay pointed out that Shafiq has previous similar convictions: In 2014, he was given probation for trespassing into a washroom for women and peeking at girls. He was also ordered to undergo offence-specific treatment for his sexual offending.
A year later, he was sentenced to a stint in a reformative training centre (RTC) for nine counts of lurking house-trespass, and was most recently given 15 months' jail in 2019 for charges of lurking house-trespass and traffic offences.
Mr Tay said Shafiq had "not learnt from his rehabilitative stints with probation and RTC, where he had the benefit of targeted intervention programmes to address his risk of sexual offending as well as his pro-criminal attitudes".
Instead, he continued to trespass upon private property and committed the house-breaking charge while on bail for the insulting modesty charge.
Shafiq's lawyer Caryn Lee of Tembusu Law asked instead for four weeks' jail and an enhanced sentence of 10 days, saying her client was "young, naive and immature".
She said he "grew up in a family that did not have adequate adult supervision, therefore he foolishly committed the (previous offences)".
He's now turning 25, and has "since matured and definitely still has the propensity to reform".
Ms Lee said Shafiq has shown signs of reform, taking on a part-time job to chip in for household expenses, and that his parents have taken on a more active role in supervising him.
The judge granted his request to defer sentence to Feb 3, as Shafiq has a wedding to attend.
For house-trespass, he could have been sentenced to up a year's jail, fined S$3,000, or both.