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Homeless, unemployed man jailed 15 months for molestation, obscene acts in public, and theft

SINGAPORE — He molested a middle-aged woman, exposed himself to two others, and stole wallets from three people at their workplaces around the Tanjong Pagar area.

SINGAPORE — He molested a middle-aged woman, exposed himself to two others, and stole wallets from three people at their workplaces around the Tanjong Pagar area.

For that, Muhammad Nurizam, 29, was sentenced to 15 months’ jail on Tuesday (April 10) on six counts of outrage of modesty, obscene acts in public and thefts in dwellings. Another seven counts for similar offences, including insulting the modesty of a woman, were taken into consideration for sentencing.

He had previously been jailed at least five times for similar offences.

The court heard that on April 5 last year, Nurizam exposed himself to the 51-year-old director of a beauty salon at Tanjong Pagar Plaza.

The woman had arrived to open her shop when she noticed Nurizam performing an obscene act on the second floor corridor in the vicinity of her shop, and she called the police. She also told them that it was not the first time she and a few other tenants had seen Nurizam around the area.

On June 25, a shop manager reported Nurizam to the police for exposing himself twice at around the same location.

On August 27, he also molested a 48-year-old shop owner when she was alone in her shop. Nurizam had stood at the entrance silently, and smiled at the victim. When she told him in simple English that her shop catered only to women and asked him to leave, he did not reply and contined to smile at her.

She asked him to leave repeatedly, and was standing close to him when he molested her before leaving the shop. She then made a police report the next day after she had calmed down.

Between June and August last year, Nurizam also went into three food establishments to steal wallets from staff members. The total amount of cash and valuables he stole came up to more than S$700.

On one occasion, a chef working at Guiga Korean Barbeque Restaurant at Tanjong Pagar Road was having a meal with his colleagues when Nurizam entered the restaurant through the back door.

Upon noticing Nurizam standing near the shelf in the kitchen where the staff put their personal belongings, they followed him and discovered he had stolen the chef’s wallet, which contained S$126 in cash. The staff then chased and detained him when he attempted to leave the restaurant.

In mitigation, defence lawyer Melvin Loh said that Nurizam had a “pretty difficult” life growing up. He claimed he was abandoned by his mother as an infant, lost contact with his family members, and ended up living at the void decks of flats for 10 years. He did not pass his Primary School Leaving Examination, and was exempted from National Service as he was in a special needs school.

Nurizam, who is jobless, also has a history of major depressive disorder and exhibitionistic disorder. “For the thefts, that is always the way he has conducted his life,” Mr Loh added.

District Judge Mathew Joseph expressed sympathy with Nurizam’s “particularly unfortunate background” and said that social welfare authorities should look into the matter. He also told Mr Loh to try to help Nurizam find suitable accommodation when he is released from prison.

“Nobody in Singapore should be living at the void decks... you’re still young and you can get over this and get your life back on the right track. Don’t feel like this is the end of the world for you,” he told Nurizam.

 

Related topics

homeless unemployment molest court crime jail obscene act

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