Stolen Shoes, Public Urination and Obscene Acts at Their Doorstep: Hougang Family Endures 3 Years of Harassment From Stranger
"How many more years do we have to live through this?"
Despite numerous calls to the authorities, 11 police reports and a Magistrate’s Complaint, one family has suffered continuous harassment from a mystery man for the past three years.
Now, they may finally have a respite — the police have confirmed that the 57-year-old Singaporean man was arrested on July 16 for allegedly performing an obscene act in public on July 5.
According to the victim, who had taken to Facebook to air her frustrations on July 15, the man had performed the obscene act while lying near her doorstep.
He had left the scene shortly after the act but was identified and arrested following police investigations.
However, this is not the first obscene act he has committed, nor is it his first time being arrested, according to the victim, who goes by the handle S Ai Leen.
Her family’s tribulations began in December 2017, when the man first showed up on their doorstep at a housing block along Hougang Street 51.
He would ring their doorbell, slip letters under their door and sleep on their doorstep. They confronted the man and clarified that the person he was looking for did not stay at their home but the man’s behaviour did not let up.
Calls to the police only resulted in the man being chased away. However, he would resurface again later the same day, with the same cycle repeating up to five times a day.
As acts of harassment are not arrestable offences, the family was advised by the police to file a Magistrate’s Complaint, she said. They also spent $500 on a closed-circuit television camera.
Unfortunately, that did little to stop the man, whose strange behaviour only escalated.
It was only on the day that he stole a pair of shoes, urinated on their plants, flashed himself and masturbated in full view of the camera that he was finally arrested in 2017. He was then sentenced to seven weeks and five days’ imprisonment, as well as made to pay a fine.
But the harassment did not stop there. In February 2018, the family began receiving letters from the man bearing the Changi Prison letterhead.
After another letter appeared on their doorstep in October 2018, the family tried to apply for a Protection Order under the Protection from Harassment Act.
However, they were unsuccessful as they did not have the man’s particulars and the police were not able to release the information to them due to confidentiality concerns, the victim said.
Stuck in a conundrum, the family tried to appeal to their MPs in Ang Mo Kio GRC, but the MPs only referred them to the police, she added.
The man has continued leaving them items such as letters and a notebook until his arrest yesterday.
The entire ordeal has caused “immense distress” to the family, she said.
“Being a family of predominantly females, it has [cost] us our freedom to enter and exit our residence fearing his presence and what he may do to us.
“We are totally helpless and frustrated.”
The man will be charged in court on July 17. If convicted of committing an obscene act in public, he could face three months’ imprisonment, a fine, or both.
Regarding the man’s recent sentence, S Ai Leen wrote: “The harasser has been arrested and convicted for just one count of [an] obscene act. This is definitely not the full picture of what he has done.
“The main problem of harassment for three consecutive years has still not been addressed. There is no increase in penalties to deter him from coming back to harass us again.
“How many more years do we have to live through this?”
This article was first published in AsiaOne and republished on theAsianparent with permission.
Lead image from Facebook/S Ai Leen.
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