Jail for man who stalked woman for two years

He also admitted to causing hurt, breaching protection order and making false 999 call

A recalcitrant offender stalked a married woman for two years, harassing her at her office and yelling out that she was "hot" as she walked near his home.

The ordeal became so bad for his 43-year-old victim that she quit her job to avoid him, a court heard.

R. Murliy was sentenced to 12 months' jail yesterday after he admitted to four of six charges - unlawful stalking, breaching personal protection order, causing hurt and transmitting a false message.

The 51-year-old, who had a string of convictions dating back to 1995, committed most of his offences while he was drunk.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Stephanie Koh said Murliy began harassing the woman in June 2014. She worked near his home in Dover Road. On Jan 23, 2015, he shouted at her as she walked by a void deck, stating that she was "hot" and her hair was beautiful.

Having tolerated his behaviour for months, she threatened to make a police report if he continued to harass her - but this fell on deaf ears.

At about 7pm on Oct 27 the same year, she was with her teenage daughter at a coffee shop when Murliy stood by her table and talked loudly in Tamil, gesticulating at her. When the pair did not respond, he sat at a nearby table and stared at the woman.

The court heard that he also went to her office to ask after her.

As she ate breakfast with her colleagues one day in January 2016, he sat near her table and called her "Aishwarya Rai", the name of an Indian actress. She was wearing shorts then. Two days later, he saw her near her office and told her he did not like to see Indian women wearing shorts.

On various occasions between January and April 2016, he would talk loudly or use vulgarities along the corridor outside her office to get her attention, DPP Koh said.

On Feb 2 that year, he appeared at the corridor outside her office and harassed her repeatedly, so she called the police.

DPP Koh said his harassment left the woman shaken and traumatised. She became paranoid and resorted to taking different routes to work, before eventually quitting her job to avoid him as she was unable to cope with the stress and anxiety.

In another case, the court heard that he went home drunk on July 11, 2016, and "whacked" a 13-year-old boy who was chatting with friends outside his home.

On May 7 last year, his 71-year-old mother was watching television at home when he punched her in the face and head.

It was the eighth time he had breached a personal protection order taken out by his mother against him in 2006, DPP Koh said.

On June 12 last year, in his drunken stupor, he made a nuisance 999 call stating that there had been a murder at his block.

His lawyer, Mr Gino Hardial Singh, said his client, who is remorseful, assures the court that he will not reoffend. Murliy's pastor has assured him of a job when he comes out of prison, he said.

District Judge Dorothy Ling, who took another charge of assault as well as transmitting a false message into consideration, backdated his sentence to Sept 6 last year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 18, 2018, with the headline 'Jail for man who stalked woman for two years'. Print Edition | Subscribe