Year In Review 2019: Most read court and crime stories in Singapore

(PHOTOS: Video screenshot/Facebook/Yahoo News Singapore
From left to right, man who kicked autistic child at Yishun indoor playground, accused Natalie Siow in the Orchard Towers case, and Tampines woman who suffered daily insults from neighbour (PHOTOS: Video screenshot/Facebook/Yahoo News Singapore

SINGAPORE —From a long-running spat between neighbours to a cold-blooded murder that left almost no traces behind, these 10 court/crime cases gripped the attention of Yahoo News Singapore readers over the year.

NUS undergrad charged for criminal trespassing, insulting modesty of woman

NUS undergrad Joel Rasis Ismail, 26, was arrested in May and charged with trespassing into a bathroom in Raffles Hall and insulting the modesty of a 23-year-old female student who was showering. He returned to court recently to face nine other counts of a similar nature. The case was just one of a slew involving voyeurs in local universities, which elicited calls from the public and even parliamentarians for greater punishments for such offenders, alongside greater protection for female undergrads.

The public outcry against such crimes came after undergraduate Monica Baey took to Instagram in April to vent her frustrations after being filmed while showering in NUS' Eusoff Hall; the perpetrator was suspended from school for a semester. In between April and May, other Peeping Tom cases also reportedly took place at Nanyang Technological University.

Orchard Towers murder case: Natalie Siow faces reduced charge of causing hurt

Natalie Siow Yu Zhen, 23, was initially accused of murdering a man after a fight at Orchard Towers on 2 July. But she later had her charge reduced to causing hurt, for allegedly punching and kicking Satheesh Noel Gobidass, 31, at the ground floor of Orchard Towers.

She had been arrested along with seven men in the aftermath of an altercation. Siow and six of the men were later charged with the murder of Satheesh. Subsequently, three of the men had their capital charges replaced with consorting with a wanted man, co-accused Tan Sen Yang, 28, who had in his possession a foldable curved knife.

Siow later also received charges for behaving in a disorderly manner in public and consorting with a man who had a weapon. She is accused of repeatedly dashing towards a group of patrons at the main entrance of the Naughty Girl Club in Orchard Towers in a bid to kick and push them.

Last month, Siow indicated that she would be claiming trial to her charge of consorting with a person with a weapon.

Gardens by the Bay murder: Married man burnt lover's body over 3 days after strangling her

Leslie Khoo Kwee Hock, 51, planned the ‘perfect’ murder to silence a mistress - one of several the philanderer had. He strangled Cui Yajie, 31, then burnt her body with charcoal and kerosene for three days.

When investigators took him back to the scene, they could not find any human remains. They only saw some hair, bits of fabric, and a brassiere hook belonging to Cui.

Khoo was found guilty of murder in July, and sentenced to life behind bars the next month.

Nine years and counting: Tampines woman still facing daily insults from neighbour

For nearly a decade, Lee Dji Lin, 66, shouted insults and vulgarities out of her eighth-floor window at Block 247 Tampines Street 21 multiple times a day. Things came to a head in 2017 when she threw pork onto the corridor outside a Muslim neighbour’s flat.

After pleading guilty to charges of wounding her neighbour’s religious feelings and harassment, Lee underwent a psychiatric assessment and was handed a two-year Mandatory Treatment Order. But she breached the court order and, on more than one occasion, wounded the religious feelings of her Muslim neighbour via verbal insults this year.

Following a Yahoo News Singapore story on the nine-year long dispute between the neighbours in June, Lee was charged in court the next month. She is expected to be sentenced in January.

Doctor accused of touching female patient's chest during consultation

General practitioner Lui Weng Sun, 45, went on trial for molesting a 24-year-old female Vietnamese patient who consulted him for flu-like symptoms in November 2017.

The doctor, who practiced at Northeast Medical Group Clinic at Block 39 Jalan Tiga, faces one charge of outrage of modesty. He allegedly pulled down the victim’s left bra cup, placed a stethoscope on her left breast, and touched her nipple with his finger.

At trial, Lui denied all the allegations and said that the patient’s boyfriend had asked him for monetary compensation. The trial is on-going.

Female teacher jailed over sexual relations with underaged secondary school student

A 26-year-old female secondary school teacher grew close to a 15-year-old male student after a camp in early 2016. They entered into a romantic relationship, engaged in physical intimacy stopping short of sexual intercourse and exchanged sexually explicit text messages. They even had a five-day staycation at a hotel.

But the relationship came to light after victim’s mother stumbled upon letters from the teacher to her son folded into heart shapes, among other things.

The teacher, now 29, was sentenced to two years and nine months’ jail in June on two charges of sexual penetration and two counts of sexual exploitation of a person younger than 16.

Ex-police officer with HIV admits to hiding condition from prostitutes he demanded sex from

A 52-year-old former cop rented out his one-bedroom Geylang flat to three prostitutes and demanded sexual services from two of them. But he didn’t tell them that he carried the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV.

The man was jailed for 19 months and fined $2,500 in July.

Under the Infectious Diseases Act, HIV-positive persons are obliged, prior to sexual intercourse, to inform their partners of their condition and to obtain their acknowledgement of the risks involved.

Man who kicked autistic child at Yishun indoor playground jailed

Operations supervisor Soo Wen Jie, 29, was jailed for one week in June for kicking a five-year-old autistic child in the belly and shoving him aside at an indoor playground in Yishun last year.

A video of the incident that made its rounds online showed Soo shielding his infant from the victim, who seems to have been left unsupervised in the playground at the time and was behaving aggressively.

Soo’s lawyer said his client had no idea the victim was autistic, and that he wanted to protect his own child and had overreacted.

Father of 6 who had sex with 11-year-old neighbour told her 'age is just a number'

A 37-year-old father of six young children had sex with his 11-year-old neighbour and told her that “age is just a number”.

Their families were close and they would have family gatherings at their homes regularly. When the girl told the man that she liked him but knew that he was married, he responded by telling her that he could have up to four wives. He has three children with his ex-wife and three children with his current wife.

The man was jailed for 10 years with six strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to one count of statutory rape in July.

Teacher accused of having sex with underage student claims alleged victim was 16

An adjunct teacher got into an intimate relationship with a 15-year-old student when she was in Secondary 4. But he claimed that they had sex only when she was above the age of consent of 16.

The victim, now 19, found out that she was pregnant with the 41-year-old man’s child shortly after they broke up, when she had left the school and was in a polytechnic. She decided to keep the baby, who is now about two years old.

In July, the man was found guilty on 10 charges of having sex with a minor and nine charges of using his fingers to penetrate the vagina of an underaged person. He was jailed for eight years the next month.

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