SINGAPORE — He was attracted to a female national athlete after seeing her for the first time during a sporting event in 2016.
Toh Wen Jie, 20, then saw her again in the 2017 Singapore Youth Olympic Festival.
Thereafter, Toh harassed the 20-year-old woman through his online messages and actions for about one and a half years. He considered the woman "eye candy" and proclaimed her as his "future wife".
When the woman did not return Toh's affection, he visited her at her home and her father's workplace, emailed her father and her sporting association, and waited for her outside her university. He even hired a private investigator to film her and establish her daily routine.
When Toh's messages became aggressive, the woman, who cannot be named due to a gag order, accompanied her mother to file a police report in order to lodge a Magistrate's Complaint. However, this was dropped as the family did not want to meet Toh.
The woman and her family had told Toh multiple times to leave them alone.
Toh pleaded guilty on Wednesday (14 April) to a single charge of unlawfully stalking the woman, then 19. He did so by attempting to contact her even after she indicated to him that his actions were considered harassment.
The alleged acts of harassment occurred between October 2018 and February 2020.
District Judge Peter Lo called for probation and reformative training suitability reports for Toh, who will return to court on 23 April. Toh, a student, had asked the court for time to complete his common test.
DJ Lo also ordered Toh to stop contacting the woman following an application by the prosecution.
Toh had originally contested his case and claimed trial on the morning of Wednesday. He appeared in court unrepresented to contest his case. When asked by the judge why he did not have a lawyer, Toh said that he had originally engaged one.
“But my grandmother said it was a waste of money, so I fired them,” said Toh, adding that he felt the investigating officer in his case had not investigated his “side of the story”.
The alleged victim, now a student at a local university, then took the stand as the prosecution’s first witness.
Toh threw in the towel and said he wanted to plead guilty when the trial was due to resume after lunch. He told DJ Lo that he wanted to prevent the victim further agony.
When he pleaded guilty, the court heard that Toh found the victim's Instagram account in June 2018 and began inundating her with messages. He hinted through his messages that he had been watching her, wishing her good luck for her examinations, and commenting on how she looked. He also threatened her, telling her to make the "sensible choice today" and be "friends for life".
He insisted that he was entitled to harass her.
The woman only saw the Instagram messages on 15 October 2018 and became concerned. She informed Toh to stop messaging her and blocked him.
In December 2018, he encountered her at her training ground and approached her to say sorry. Unaware of his identity, the woman smiled and asked who he was. When she realised he was her harasser, she ignored him. Toh, who got a job at the training ground, continued to try to speak to her whenever she was at the training area.
Eventually, Toh found her home address in an internal document. He visited her home on 7 June 2019, and insisted on staying despite the woman's sister asking him to go away. He left after the police were called to the house.
He continued turning up at the victim's house and sent emails to her sporting association, claiming that he had "ample resources" to find out everything about her and appear wherever she went.
In September 2019, he found the work email of the woman's father and began emailing him. He even turned up at the father's workplace in a bid to speak to him.
Outraged at the continuous rejection, Toh wrote emails of a more threatening and obsessive nature. He degraded the victim in his emails and persisted in visiting her home.
From December 2019 to January last year, he continued sending her hundreds of messages, creating 16 new Instagram handles to do so. Each time the woman blocked him, he would create a new account to contact her.
The messages were sexual in nature with threats of violence to anyone who got into a relationship with the woman, whom he deemed his wife or fiancee.
He also demanded for the woman's timetable and then hired a private investigator (PI) to establish her daily routine in January last year. The PI was tasked to follow and video her from 7am to 11am each day from 13 January to 17 January last year.
Toh would then send the videos taken by the PI to her and began stalking her at her university, threatening to strangle her and claiming he had "a lot of time to kill" on his Tellonym account, the prosecution said.
At no point did the woman indicate any interest in him.
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