Man stalked woman for nearly an hour before molesting her

(Getty Images file photo)

SINGAPORE — He took a liking to a woman whom he saw on a train and followed her for nearly an hour.

Cheah Chan Yung, 24, noted her movements as she changed trains, buses, and walked towards her flat. He followed the 18-year-old victim to the seventh floor of a block of flats where he molested her outside her flat.

On Monday (22 April), the retail assistant was given 14 months’ jail and one stroke of the cane after he pleaded guilty to one count each of voluntarily causing hurt and molest. A charge of using criminal force against the woman to pin her down was taken into consideration for sentencing.

The court heard that Cheah was on an MRT train on 21 July last year at night when he noticed the teenager and became attracted to her.

When the woman alighted at Paya Lebar MRT Station, Cheah followed her on the Circle Line all the way to MacPherson station. He transferred a black trash bag, which he intended to cover the woman’s face with, from his bag into his pocket.

Cheah continued to follow the woman on a bus ride and walked through several blocks of flats until the ground floor lift lobby of a block where she stopped.

As the lift doors were closing, Cheah rushed into the lift and pressed the fifth floor, two storeys below the floor where the woman lived. When he stepped out of the fifth floor, he took the trash bag and climbed the stairs.

As the woman headed to her flat, she saw Cheah rushing up the staircase towards her. Alarmed, the woman rushed towards the door of her unit but did not reach it in time.

Cheah gripped the woman’s arm and molested her. The woman hit Cheah on his chest and shoulder in retaliation.

During the struggle, Cheah tried to cover her mouth by stuffing his fingers into it. The woman bit him and screamed. Cheah then pinned her down and fiddled with his trash bag.

Alerted by the screams, the woman’s sister rushed out of the flat and witnessed the incident. She shouted at Cheah, who stopped and stared at her.

Cheah was later arrested. The woman was conveyed to a hospital where she was found with bruises and swelling on her lips.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Rebecca Wong sought a 15-month jail term and three strokes of the cane for Cheah, saying that it was aggravating that he had followed the victim for so long.

Lee Wei Liang, Cheah’s lawyer, asked for 10 months’ jail and one stroke of the cane, pointing out that his client had only touched the victim once.

District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt said that it was “particularly aggravating” that Cheah had meticulously planned his actions.

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