Within five months of his release from prison for theft and attempted robbery, Muhammad Noh Mohammad Jais was back to his old ways. This time, he targeted two pregnant women.
Yesterday, 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 last month to attempted snatch theft of a purse containing a credit card and $130 in cash from a Myanmar national, who was eight months pregnant, and to 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 in Bedok South Avenue 2 on April 27 when he saw housewife Aye Khin, 42, at a sheltered walkway.
He followed her as he wanted to snatch her wallet, tucked under her armpit while she was carrying 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.
He followed her when she got out and tried to snatch her wallet, but she tightened her grip on it. When she shouted for help, Muhammad Noh pushed her in the abdomen and fled down the stairs.
Later that day, he saw Filipina Jarina Caranza, 37, and tailed her to a block in Bedok South Avenue 1. He entered the lift after her and stood by the lift button panel without selecting any floor.
He followed her to her flat when she exited the lift. She asked him why he was on that floor.
He extended his left hand 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 last year.