Jail for man who insulted flatmate's modesty

Three days after he moved into a flat, a driver lifted the blanket of his housemate who was sleeping and took a photo of her topless.

Teng Ching Yuan, 31, was caught red-handed when he tried to do it again three days later. Yesterday, he was jailed for 12 weeks after pleading guilty to five charges: two of insulting a woman's modesty, and one each of criminal trespass, use of criminal force and possession of obscene films.

A District Court heard that Teng, a Malaysian, rented a room in a Pasir Ris flat. He stayed there with the unit's owners, a married couple, and a 30-year-old female tenant. The latter had a habit of sleeping unclothed and would usually lock her room door, the court heard.

On April 15, just one week after Teng moved in, the female tenant was awakened at about 5am when she felt someone lifting her blanket slowly about three times. Her door was shut but not locked and the lights were off. She saw Teng standing shirtless beside her.

She cried out, but Teng put his hand over her mouth. She struggled and tried to get her phone to call the police, but Teng told her not to do so. When she shouted for help, he covered her mouth with his hand again.

The flat's owners were woken up by her shouting and went to her room. Teng was arrested that day.

A photo of the victim, topless and asleep, taken on April 12, was found in his phone. There were also 70 obscene films in it.

The maximum penalty for criminal trespass and use of criminal force is three months' jail and a fine of $1,500; for insulting the modesty of a woman, one year's jail and a fine; and for possession of obscene films, a fine and six months' jail.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 05, 2016, with the headline 'Jail for man who insulted flatmate's modesty'. Print Edition | Subscribe