Jail for woman who stole after one-night stand

For three years, a stall assistant waited for the authorities to arrest a woman who stole more than $6,000 in cash and valuables from him after a one-night stand in 2013.

They did eventually, but Mr Chew Siong Heng did not get to see justice being served. He died of oesophageal cancer on Jan 3 this year - 15 days before a court trial on the case started.

Following a three-day trial, District Judge Marvin Bay found Fu Xiang, 47, guilty of stealing from Mr Chew $2,000 in cash, as well as a gold necklace with a pendant and two gold rings valued at $4,388.

The judge yesterday sentenced Fu - a Singaporean originally from China - to four months' jail.

According to the prosecution, Mr Chew, then 62, went to Marina Bay Sands (MBS) just before midnight on Nov 17, 2013 and won over $1,000 at the casino.

Fu, who also worked as a stall assistant, approached Mr Chew as he was leaving the casino and told him she was hungry but had no money. He invited her for a meal at MBS and when it ended, she told him that she provided massage services.

They checked into Hotel 81 Spring in Geylang at around 3.30am the next day and had sex. After Mr Chew fell asleep, Fu took his money and jewellery, leaving behind just $50 for him. He discovered his loss after he woke up at around 7am and the police were alerted.

Despite their efforts, the police could not trace Fu, said Judge Bay. They finally arrested her in November 2016 following a police ground check.

During the trial, the court heard Mr Chew's account of what happened through statements he had made before his death.

In her testimony, Fu said that after checking into the hotel room, she told Mr Chew she owed a friend some money and needed his help. The divorcee claimed that after having sex, Mr Chew handed over his jewellery so that she could pawn them and also gave her $130. Fu said she pawned the jewellery and used the money to gamble.

She also testified that when Mr Chew tried to contact her later, she did not reply as she was purportedly embarrassed for gambling away all the money .

But Judge Bay found her assertion that the cash and jewellery were gifts to be highly improbable.

Addressing Fu, he said: "This is an opportunistic act where you had callously repaid the trust and generosity of a person you had just met, who had provided you with a restaurant meal, by violating his trust and taking his prized possessions as well as almost all his money. I note too there is no recovery of the jewellery items."

Fu, who was unrepresented, pleaded for a lighter sentence. She also told the court that she has two children who are polytechnic students and asked to serve her sentence at a later date to settle her personal affairs. She is out on a bail of $15,000 and will surrender herself at the State Courts on May 2.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 14, 2018, with the headline 'Jail for woman who stole after one-night stand'. Print Edition | Subscribe