43-Year-Old Stalker Fails To Get Probation, Gets 3 Months’ Jail & $8,000 Fine Instead
Last week, news of an NUS student molester receiving a lenient sentence for his crimes – primarily owing to his stellar academic results – sparked widespread outrage.
Shortly after, memes and jokes started mushrooming on social media — mostly poking fun at the fact that an NUS degree and great GPA are key to receiving a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card in court.
We now get to see how this “card” plays out in real life for another case, which involves a 43-year-old man charged with stalking and secretly taking photos of girls.
According to TODAY Online, the man’s lawyer used the NUS molester’s case as reference, where undergrad Terence Siow’s sentence was reduced to a 21-month probation for molesting a woman.
The defence lawyer said his client should be given a similar sentencing as well since he too, has his merits and potential.
Here’s the lowdown on what transpired during the hearing on Tuesday (1 Oct).
Stalked & secretly took pictures of his victims
TODAY Online reports that Fong Poh Kuen, an ex-insurance agent, was convicted of 6 charges of stalking and secretly taking pictures of schoolgirls aged 13 to 16.
These offences had taken place between Jan and Oct in 2017.
He also pleaded guilty to a charge of insulting a woman’s modesty by taking her upskirt photos at a bus stop along Marine Parade road.
A bus stop along Marine Parade road. For illustration purposes only
The 43-year-old made forms for an “educational survey” as a cover to approach girls outside various secondary schools and junior colleges. Then, he would:
- Enter their data into a spreadsheet
- Tail the girls during their commute and in places such as MRT stations
- Take their pictures without them knowing.
After all that, we now get to the part where his lawyer tries to appeal for lighter sentence, i.e. no jail time, just probation.
Lawyer says his client is unlikely to reoffend
Fong’s lawyer told the court that Fong was a certified chartered financial analyst and was training to become a financial planner.
He added that Fong is diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder, which, according to Mayo Clinic, causes the lack of desire or necessary skills to form close relationships.
It was no thanks to his disorder that led him to commit these offences. Fong’s lawyer had said he is unlikely to reoffend with proper supervision, counselling, and if necessary, medication.
If well-rehabilitated, he can return and serve society in a meaningful way.
Hence, he asked the court to consider putting Fong on probation – in obvious reference to the verdict of Siow’s case – instead so that he can “redeem himself in society”.
Cannot compare case with Terence Siow
In response to the probation plea, DPP Thiagesh argued that Siow’s case cannot be used for comparison because Fong had multiple charges — Siow only had 1 charge.
Furthermore, he added, probation is usually granted to those under 21 and show a strong inclination towards reforming, or if the nature of the case is special.
“Neither conditions are fulfilled in this case”, explained DPP Thiagesh as a final blow to the probation appeal.
District Judge Ong Luan Tze said that it was unnecessary to call for a probation report for Fong. He was eventually sentenced to 3 months’ jail and fined $8,000.
Featured image adapted from Singapore Research Nexus.