SINGAPORE: A 24-year-old waiter was sentenced to six weeks' jail on Wednesday (Feb 28) for stalking a 17-year-old student, stealing her house keys and letting himself into her home at 4.30am one morning, all in a bid to learn her name.
The man cannot be named due to a gag order. He pleaded guilty to four charges, including one for unlawful stalking, one for house trespass and two for theft.
The victim was studying at a McDonald's outlet in Tampines when the accused set eyes on her for the first time in October or November 2016. He found her attractive and tried to befriend her, Deputy Public Prosecutor Jotham Tay said. But the teenager rebuffed his advances.
This did not stop him. The accused would wait for the girl at McDonald's, where she studied regularly, to hand her a paper flower each time they met. One day, the man happened to spot the victim leaving her house and realised where she lived. He started to follow her home.
In November 2016, he went to the flat, intending to check if anyone was home. He found the house keys hanging from the keyhole and stole them.
On Nov 22, the accused let himself into the flat in the dead of night. "He wanted to find out (the girl’s) name," Mr Tay said.
The man stole a grey bra, thinking it was the victim’s. It belonged to her 13-year-old sister. The sister's boyfriend happened to be awake and walked out of the room to find a stranger in the flat. The accused fled.
The court heard the man had entered the flat using the stolen key on previous occasions. He stole letters and used the name on the letters to try and find the teenager’s social media profiles. "He was unable to find her and as such, went back to the flat again," Mr Tay said.
The man’s lawyer said his client "had fallen deeply in love with the victim … and (was) unable to control his feelings for her".
He noted a psychiatric report which stated the accused suffers from "some emotional instability", but does not have a mental illness. "He will exercise better judgement in the future," the lawyer said.
For unlawfully stalking the victim, the man could have been jailed for up to one year and/or fined up to S$5,000. For house trespass, he could have been jailed for up to one year and/or fined up to S$3,000.