SINGAPORE: While a female colleague was in the washroom, a man laced her mug with a mixture of Anarex and water, hoping to molest her afterwards.
The woman noticed blue particles in the liquid while she was emptying the mug after returning from the toilet, and her boyfriend lodged a police report.
The 31-year-old offender, who cannot be named due to gag orders protecting the identity of the victim, was given 14 months' jail on Friday (Apr 9).
He pleaded guilty to one charge of attempting to administer a stupefying drug and two charges of insulting a woman's modesty. Another three charges were considered in sentencing.
The court heard that the accused worked with the victim at a company that was not named in court documents.
At around 5.25pm on Oct 9, 2019, the victim placed her mug at a table directly in front of a common toilet in the office before going to the washroom.
While she was inside, the accused tipped a mixture of water and Anarex - drowsy medication commonly prescribed for fever, flu and pain - from a capsule tub into the victim's mug.
When the woman came out of the toilet, she picked up her mug and poured the water inside into the sink. However, she spotted blue particles in the liquid from her mug and smelled it.
Getting a whiff of alcohol, the woman felt suspicious and checked the office's closed-circuit television footage. She saw the accused pouring a substance into her mug and called the police.
Her boyfriend also called the police, saying he was "on the way" and that someone put a substance in his girlfriend's drink.
The accused was arrested and the capsule tub was sent for analysis. It was found to contain orphenadrine, a skeletal muscle relaxant for pain that commonly draws side effects such as dizziness, and paracetamol.
The man admitted that he had planned to give the victim Anarex since August 2019. He wanted to pour the substance into her mug at the end of office hours, hoping that she would drink it after the rest of their colleagues had left.
He said that if she reacted to the medication and felt nausea or dizziness, he would take the opportunity to touch and feel her body, "as he would not be able to touch her if she was in a normal state".
"The accused admitted that he wanted to touch (her) because he had viewed half-naked videos of (her) and he was craving to touch her," said the prosecutor.
Police investigations uncovered 76 videos in the man's phone of women in the office toilet. Of these, 61 were of the victim easing herself in the toilet between July and October 2019.
Two of the clips were of another woman relieving herself in the toilet in that same period of time.
The man admitted placing his phone in the toilet to record his colleagues easing themselves, and said he watched them and masturbated to them at home. He usually placed the phone in the toilet in the afternoon before work ended, as he noticed that his female colleagues would often use the washroom before leaving the office.
HE HAS DIFFICULTY EXPRESSING HIMSELF TO WOMEN: DEFENCE
Lawyer Marshall Lim from Invictus Law had urged the court to impose 10 months' jail, saying that his client is "a mild-mannered individual who often experienced difficulty in expressing his emotions to others, especially to those of the opposite gender".
He had two previous girlfriends, but these relationships were "unfortunately short-lived", said Mr Lim.
He said his client had developed romantic feelings for the victim but could "never find the right words to express himself".
"Unfortunately, this led to our client embarking on a series of unfortunate acts which he deeply regrets," said Mr Lim.
He said his client had obtained the Anarex when he visited a clinic, and was carrying it as he was still consuming it.
"(My) client throws himself on the mercy of the court. He recognises that he has committed offences and is ashamed to have acted in such an unseemly manner," said Mr Lim.
He added that the offender's interaction with the justice system has "left a deep and lasting impression on him", and he is "determined to mend his ways and not repeat his mistakes".
For attempting to administer a stupefying drug to commit an offence of outrage of modesty, the man could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined or caned.