SINGAPORE - A 21-year-old dishwasher who was placed on probation for theft went on to commit a similar offence just three months later.
This time, he tailed a trainee lawyer and then restrained her and robbed her.
On Wednesday (May 11), Muhammad Hairuldin Osman was jailed for one year after he pleaded guilty to a charge of using criminal force in committing theft.
He admitted to another count of the same, which was taken into consideration during sentencing.
A district court heard that Hairuldin was on his way home at about 10pm on Feb 19 when he decided to rob a passer-by to pay off a debt. He waited for a victim at a covered walkway near the bus stop in front of Block 646 Bedok Reservoir Road.
At about 10.45pm, he saw a 23-year-old trainee lawyer alight from a bus. He followed her across the road to Jalan Singa, without her noticing him.
Hairuldin went up to her from behind and covered her eyes and mouth with his right hand. The victim put up a struggle and fell to the ground.
Hairuldin told her not to scream or to look at his face. He took her wallet and ran to Block 650 Bedok Reservoir Road, where he hid in some bushes for about 20 minutes. He then walked home.
Hairuldin spent the $8 in cash that he found inside the wallet on drinks.
The victim suffered a sprained ankle and bruising on her knee and palm. She was given two days of medical leave.
On March 1, just 11 days later, Hairuldin committed the same offence in a similar manner.
At about 10.55pm, he went up to a 27-year-old woman at Thomson Road, covered her eyes and dragged her. When she fell, he took her $600 Oppo R7 mobile phone that was in her hand.
Hairuldin had been sentenced on Nov 9 last year to 18 months' probation for theft . As part of his probation, he was supposed to remain at home between 10pm and 6am.
The minimum punishment for using criminal force on a person while committing theft is a jail term of at least one year. The maximum punishment is seven years' jail and caning.