SINGAPORE — After a night of visiting relatives during Hari Raya, instead of returning home, a man decided to go and peep at women.
He went to a nearby block, slid the window open and stuck his hand in to push the curtain aside.
That was when his victim saw his hand and screamed.
Muhammad Nur Shafiq Omar, then a full-time national serviceman with the Singapore Civil Defence Force, was sentenced to six weeks’ jail, with an additional 20 days’ jail for offending while on remission. He pleaded guilty to one count of house trespass, while one count of attempting to intrude into the privacy of a woman by sliding open the bedroom window was taken into consideration for sentencing.
Now aged 24, Shafiq is a recalcitrant offender who was sentenced to 15 months probation in 2014 after trespassing into a female toilet. He then reoffended in 2016 and 2019 by trespassing again. He was given reformative training in 2016 and 15 months’ jail in 2019 for both trespass and traffic offences.
Offended after Hari Raya celebrations
On 17 June last year, after Hari Raya celebrations, Shafiq returned to his block at Choa Chu Kang Avenue 4 at about 4am. He then decided to go to a nearby block, intending to peep at girls inside their units.
Half an hour later, he came across the victim, a 20-year-old girl’s unit. He noticed that the bedroom lights were still switched on. Upon realising that the sliding window was not locked, Shafiq pushed open the sliding window and extended his hand into the unit to push at the curtains.
The woman was in her bedroom at the time and heard the sound of the window sliding open. She saw Shafiq’s hand reaching into her bedroom to push away the curtains
The alarmed woman screamed and Shafiq fled. The woman’s sister called the police minutes later.
At the time of the offence, Shafiq was under investigation and on bail for attempting to peek at another woman 16 days earlier. He was also on remission for an earlier offence of trespass, having been released earlier for good behaviour.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Tay Jia En sought six weeks’ jail for Nur, stating that the accused had “not learnt from his rehabilitative stints with probation and (reformative training), where he had the benefit of targeted intervention programmes to address his risk of sexual re-offending as well as his pro-criminal attitudes”.
He had continued to disregard the property rights and privacy of members of the public by trespassing upon private property, said the DPP.
Given that Shafiq’s current offence was similar to his previous offence, the prosecution asked that he be made to serve the maximum remaining term of the remission order which he breached, which is 27 days.
Shafiq’s lawyer Caryn Lee said that he had pleaded guilty at the “earliest opportunity” and cooperated with the authorities.
Shafiq had offended in the past as he was young, naive, and immature, having grown up in a family without adequate adult supervision, said Lee. However, Shafiq has since matured and shown a propensity to reform, said the lawyer, citing how Shafiq has volunteered to help with the family expenses by working part-time as a driver on most weekends.
“His parents have taken an active role in supervising him, and his father who is present today ,has accompanied him for all court proceedings,” said the defence lawyer.
His mother, who is wheelchair-bound, calls him everyday to ensure that he returns home by 10pm, added Lee.
Shafiq intends to continue his education as an engineer in the future.
The lawyer sought a four-week jail term with an enhanced sentence of 10 days for the remission order breach.
For house trespass, Nur could have been jailed up to a year, and/or fined up to $3,000.
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