SINGAPORE — After following a student into the lift, a man attempted to get the 15-year-old boy’s phone number several times before molesting him.
Singaporean Azmi Mohd Yunos, 48, had introduced himself as “Amy” before trying to befriend the boy.
On Tuesday (4 February), Azmi was sentenced to eight months’ jail by District Judge Eddy Tham, who noted Azmi’s long history of drug abuse dating back more than 10 years. He pleaded guilty to one count of molest, with another count taken into consideration for sentencing.
On 7 October last year, the victim, dressed in a sweater and his school’s physical education shirt and shorts, headed to his flat from Bedok North MRT station at about 6.13pm. At his block’s lift lobby, he encountered Azmi, who was pushing his bicycle.
Azmi was unemployed then. He had been cycling at the void deck and saw the victim. Wanting to chat with the victim, Azmi followed him into the lift.
As the lift ascended, Azmi greeted the victim and shook hands with him, introducing himself as “Amy”. He asked for the boy’s name, and claimed that he lived in the same block.
“The accused then asked the victim if they could be friends and exchange phone numbers. The victim decided to provide the accused with a fake handphone number as he did not want to be friends with him,” Deputy Public Prosecutor Joshua Lim told the court.
The victim gave a fake number, which Azmi tried to call on the spot. Azmi then told the teen there was something wrong with the number and asked for another one. The teen again gave a fake number which did not work when Azmi called it.
As the lift door opened, Azmi asked for the teen’s handphone number again, this time asking the teen to key it into his mobile phone. He asked the teen to step out of the lift and the latter complied, as he saw that Azmi was trying to push his bicycle out of the lift.
As the teen keyed in a fake number into Azmi’s handphone in the lift lobby, Azmi brushed the teen’s genitals over his shorts. He told the teen not to be scared.
Shocked, the teen stepped back and returned Azmi’s phone. He said he needed to go home urgently before pressing the button for another lift.
However, when the teen entered the lift, Azmi followed him again. He brushed the teen’s buttocks in an upward motion. The teen did not retaliate as he feared for his safety within the confines of the lift, according to the prosecution.
He exited the lift when it reached his floor and walked in the opposite direction of his flat, as he did not want Azmi to know where he lived. Azmi switched to another lift and returned to the ground floor. He then cycled away.
The teen called the police immediately, saying that a Malay uncle in white with a bicycle molested him.
Police officers later spotted Azmi cycling and called out to him. However Azmi refused to stop and continued towards an overhead bridge. Police officers later arrested him at the bridge.
Seeking eight months’ jail for Azmi, DPP Lim told the court that Azmi had been convicted for drug offences from 1989 to 2012. The prosecution had also considered the persistent nature of the current offence and that it had occurred in a confined space.
Azmi, who was unrepresented, told DJ Tham that he had been seeing a psychiatrist since 2017 and had been admitted to the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) several times. The part time cleaner pleaded for the “minimum sentence” as he wanted to support his 74-year-old ailing mother.
Azmi has been diagnosed with alcohol use disorder, with a history of induced drug psychosis and polysubstance dependence.
Noting these issues, DJ Tham said that Azmi’s problems were “very much self-induced”.
“You need to really get out of this situation, you cannot hide behind the fact that you’ve been going to IMH and therefore justify your actions.
“It is your first time I bear that in mind, but I hope that this will be the last time because the harm caused when you take drugs is mainly to yourself, but for outrage of modesty offences, there is an innocent victim involved.”
For molest, the man could have been jailed up to two years, and/or fined, and/or caned.
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