Serial flasher who exposed himself at playground gets jail

Serial flasher who exposed himself at playground gets jail

Jalan Bukit Merah playground
Screengrab from Google Street View of the playground near Block 105, Jalan Bukit Merah.

SINGAPORE: A serial flasher who has multiple previous convictions for obscene acts in public was given six weeks' jail on Wednesday (Oct 30) for another slew of such acts.

Loh Teck Heng, 46, told the judge that he felt very remorseful and ashamed. He also said he "felt like a pervert" after hearing the statement of facts.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of insulting a woman's modesty, with another three charges taken into consideration for sentencing.

The court heard that Loh had exposed his privates at a playground near Block 105, Jalan Bukit Merah on the evening of Feb 6 this year. There were children at the playground.

A 38-year-old woman saw him sitting down on a bench at the playground before pulling down his shorts, exposing himself to her and touching himself.

The woman called the police, and he was arrested and later released on bail.

HE REOFFENDED WHILE ON BAIL

Loh flashed another woman, aged 45, along Kim Tian Road on the night of Mar 22, before masturbating.

The woman was scared, shocked and angered by his gestures, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Jean Goh.

She ignored Loh and walked away, before approaching a group of girls for help. They pretended to ask Loh for directions to stall for time while one of them called the police.

When the police arrived, he tried to walk away, but he was detained when the officers gave chase.

He was again taken to a police station for investigations and released on bail.

However, Loh reoffended on Jun 15, this time to a 27-year-old woman who had just alighted a bus along Jalan Bukit Merah just after midnight.

He walked towards her with his privates exposed, intending for her to see him. Alone and frightened, the woman walked quickly towards a block of flats, but when she turned back, Loh was walking slowly towards her.

She then ran all the way back home and called the police.

Before the officers arrived, another group of girls saw Loh grabbing his privates over his pants at a nearby void deck.

He had been drinking before each of the three incidents, the court heard.

HE HAS MULTIPLE SIMILAR CONVICTIONS OVER SEVERAL YEARS

The prosecutor on Wednesday asked for at least six weeks' jail for Loh, who has been convicted multiple times for similar offences from as far back as 2009.

Loh, who was unrepresented, told the judge that he was "a different person" when he drank alcohol.

"In my head, I knew all these are repeated but who will ever repeat all these same offences again?" He said. "I also talked to my psychologist. I'm not an alcoholic. But when I (drink), I'm just a different person."

"Definitely I feel very remorseful and I feel like I'm a pervert," said Loh, who lamented that he has hurt his wife.

"Previously I really appreciate that a programme was given to me, I have a psychologist. I don't mean to do all these things."

YOUR CHOICE TO TAKE ALCOHOL: JUDGE

However, District Judge May Mesenas said it had been his choice to consume alcohol despite knowing what it does to him. 

"But you voluntarily took the alcohol, isn't it? You know what happens when you take alcohol. You need to get around it. Why did you stop going to IMH after May 2018?" She asked.

Loh, who has a child with special needs, said he and his family had been chased out of his rental home as he could not afford the rent any longer.

"Maybe I'm weak. Maybe I can't deal with these stresses. Maybe it's a lame excuse that I go and touch the alcohol again," he said. "I'm very shameful to hear all the facts."

The judge gave him the six weeks' jail asked for by the prosecution, but told Loh that he needed to deal with his alcohol problem.

"Mr Loh, I think you know where exactly the problem lies. It's alcohol," she said. "You need to deal with it. Follow up with the psychologist, go to National Addictions Management Service (NAMS), whatever's necessary to kick the alcohol habit. You know how it's destroying you, destroying your family."

She noted that he had put in effort for a six-month court programme previously, but stressed that the court cannot monitor him. 

"I hope it will be a reminder not to come back. I know it's easier said than done," said the judge.

She granted him a deferment of his sentence to Nov 27, and allowed him to surrender at 2.30pm so that he could take his child to school in the morning.

Source: CNA/ll(hm)

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