SINGAPORE - Within five months of his release from prison, Muhammad Noh Mohammad Jais tried his luck again by preying on two pregnant women.
On Thursday (Nov 16), the 31-year-old car washer was given the minimum five years' corrective training and six strokes of the cane for attempted snatch theft and using threatening behaviour with intent to cause alarm.
He pleaded guilty on Oct 10 to attempted snatch theft of a purse containing a credit card and $130 cash from housewife Aye Khin , 42, who was eight months pregnant, as well as using threatening behaviour towards a Filipina, who was five months pregnant.
A corrective training suitability report was called. Corrective training is a prison regime for repeat offenders without the usual one-third remission for good behaviour. The maximum period is 14 years.
The court heard that Muhammad Noh was loitering around a market at Block 58, Bedok South Avenue 2 on April 27 when he saw the pregnant Myanmar national walking along a sheltered walkway.
He followed her as he wanted to snatch her wallet tucked underneath her armpit while she was carrying her bags of groceries.
At the ground floor of her block, he followed her into the lift and stood behind her without pressing a button for any floor.
When Madam Aye Khin got out, he followed her and suddenly tried to snatch her wallet but she tightened her grip on her wallet.
When she turned around and shouted for help, Muhammad Noh pushed her in the abdomen before fleeing down the stairs towards Bedok Mall.
Madam Aye Khin did not seek any medical attention after the incident.
At about 5.30pm on the same day, Muhammad Noh spotted Filipina Jarina Ritcheal Caranza, 37, and tailed her all the way to a block in Bedok South Avenue 1. He entered the lift after her and stood by the handicap lift button panel without selecting a button for any floor.
Ms Caranza felt suspicious as she had never seen him on her floor before.
After she exited the lift, he first walked towards the staircase before following her to her flat. She asked him whether he was following her and why he was on that floor.
Muhammad Noh extended his left hand towards her and said: "Give me money.'' She quickly pushed her main door open and shouted to her family members for help. Muhammad Noh ran away and fled down the staircase.
He was arrested two days later at Tampines MRT station.
He had previous convictions for robbery in 2010. In 2013, he was sentenced to six years' jail and caning for theft and attempted robbery. He was released at the end of 2016.
District Judge Samuel Chua, who agreed that a sentence of corrective training was appropriate in this case, told Muhammad Noh that he was not deterred from his previous jail term and caning, and had re-offended within five months of his release.