Singapore

Man jailed 15 months for theft and sex offences

A jobless man, who had been in jail multiple times since 2014 for offences such as theft and performing obscene acts in public, was back in court yesterday to face a string of similar charges as well as a more serious one of molestation.

Muhammad Nurizam, 29,was jailed for 15 months after pleading guilty to three theft charges, two counts of performing obscene acts in public and a molestation charge.

Seven other charges for similar offences were taken into consideration during sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Marshall Lim told the court that a 48-year-old Singapore permanent resident was alone in her Tanjong Pagar shop at around 12.30pm on Aug 27 last year when she saw Muhammad smiling as he stood near the entrance.

She approached him and informed him that her store catered only to women and asked him to leave. He did not reply and continued smiling at her.

He then molested her before fleeing the scene.

DPP Lim said: "The victim was shocked and outraged by what she had experienced and lodged a police report the next day after she had calmed down."

Two other women, who worked in the same neighbourhood, also alerted the police after they saw him performing an obscene act in public in separate incidents last year.

WENT INTO KITCHEN

In addition, Muhammad admitted to stealing more than $700 in cash and valuables from the staff of three businesses in Tanjong Pagar between June and August last year.

At around 4.30pm on June 11, he entered a Korean restaurant through the back door and made his way to a shelf in the kitchen where staff had placed their personal belongings.

One of the chefs saw Muhammad taking his wallet containing $126. They detained him and alerted the police.

The court heard that he later committed similar offences at another restaurant and a pub.

Muhammad's lawyer, Mr Melvin Loh, assigned to the case under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, told District Judge Mathew Joseph that his client, who has lower than average IQ, has a history of major depressive and exhibitionistic disorders.

Muhammad also claimed to have been abandoned when he was young and had to live in void decks.

COURT & CRIME