Lingerie thief ordered to see psychiatrist

A 29-year-old man who stole more than 100 items of female underwear was yesterday made to undergo one year of psychiatric treatment under a MTO.
A 29-year-old man who stole more than 100 items of female underwear was yesterday made to undergo one year of psychiatric treatment under a MTO.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

A 29-year-old man who stole more than 100 items of female underwear was yesterday made to undergo one year of psychiatric treatment under a Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO).

Lee Chan Hoe, an air-con repairman, pleaded guilty in court to one charge of fraudulent possession of property and one of dishonest misappropriation of property.

He admitted to two other charges of dishonest misappropriation of property. These counts were taken into consideration in sentencing.

A community court heard that Lee left his Bedok North Street 3 flat early on Feb 5 and went to a neighbour's flat on another floor. He took a purple-pink brassiere off a clothes rack outside the flat.

At about 4.30am, an occupant of the flat looked out of his unit and saw Lee lying face down in the corridor. Lee got up and knelt on the floor with the bra in his hands.

He then laid down on the floor again and sniffed the bra for a while before getting up, putting the bra back on the rack and walking away.

The occupant called the police.

Lee was arrested in the void deck shortly after and taken back to his flat, where police found 55 bras and 51 pairs of panties in his room.

Lee said he had picked them up over the past year as he had developed a liking for collecting women's undergarments.

Investigations revealed that Lee had filched three of the bras and two pairs of the panties from another HDB block near his home on his way home from work in March last year.

The next month, he unlawfully took two bras and a pair of panties from the same neighbourhood.

In May last year, he took another two bras from the same area.

The maximum punishment for fraudulent possession of property is a $3,000 fine and one year's jail; and for dishonest misappropriation of property, two years' jail and a fine.

The MTO is a community sentencing option implemented in 2010 for offenders suffering from mental conditions which have contributed to their committing the offence.

Offenders will not be committed to the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), but must attend compulsory treatment sessions with psychiatrists, which the Health Ministry and IMH will take care of.

Treatment is usually paid for by the offenders, unless they cannot afford it.

Amir Hussain

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2016, with the headline 'Lingerie thief ordered to see psychiatrist'. Print Edition | Subscribe