Jailed for trespass, outrage of modesty

A MAN who walked into a neighbour's flat wearing only his boxer shorts and held her body against him was sentenced to six months in jail for outrage of modesty and trespass yesterday.

The court heard that New Chee Kean, 27, had left his Marine Terrace flat to have an early morning cigarette on Feb 17 last year when he noticed that the door of a unit along the common corridor was ajar.

He entered and walked into a bedroom to find the 39-year-old victim watching a video on her phone.

The victim said New was standing so close that she could feel his body heat. When she turned around and saw him, she asked him who he was and whether he had entered her room by mistake.

New then fled the house, but the victim followed him, asking who he was looking for.

He then turned back towards her and re-entered her flat.

The woman began screaming and retreated to her bedroom, but New caught up with her and grabbed her across her chest.

He covered her mouth to stifle her screams and held her body against his bare chest.

The victim continued to struggle and scream. New released her after a few seconds, pushing her away and fleeing.

New was charged with one count of outrage of modesty and one count of trespass. He pleaded guilty to both.

His lawyer, Mr Louis Joseph, said in mitigation that it was his client's first offence, an act of "foolishness and stupidity". He said New had expressed remorse and cooperated with the police.

Mr Joseph asked for leniency and a jail sentence of not more than three months.

But District Judge Liew Thiam Leng said New had caused the victim significant alarm and fear, and imposed a jail sentence of six months. Mr Joseph then requested a deferment of two weeks for New for personal reasons, which the judge allowed.

New is out on $15,000 bail and will begin serving his sentence on July 3. For outrage of modesty, he could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or served any such combined punishment. For trespass, he could have been jailed for up to a year, fined $3,000, or both.

rkurohi@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2015, with the headline 'Jailed for trespass, outrage of modesty'. Print Edition | Subscribe