Man, 54, convicted of trying to rape tourist at Hilton Singapore
He attacked woman in Hilton hotel just months after serving 14 years in jail
Just five months after serving 14 years in prison, a career criminal tried to rape a female tourist at the Hilton Singapore and later robbed another tourist.
Yesterday, Isa Ahmad, 54, who has been in and out of jail since 1988, pleaded guilty to one count each of attempted aggravated rape and robbery.
Calling Isa a danger to the public, Deputy Public Prosecutor Gregory Gan urged the court to call for a report to assess Isa's suitability for preventive detention (PD), adding that a maximum sentence was appropriate given the seriousness of his offences and criminal history.
PD, which is only for repeat offenders who are above 30 years old, involves incarceration for up to 20 years.
DPP Gan argued that Isa's re-offending barely five months after his release was "clear evidence that his previous sentences had failed to deter him from criminal conduct", seeing how he had escalated from robbery to attempted rape involving a violent assault on the victim.
In March 2017, Isa, who was a housekeeper at Orchard Hotel Singapore, noticed his first victim, then 27, as she was returning to the Hilton, said DPP Gan.
Attracted to her, he followed her into the hotel, and then the lift where she used her key card to access her room on the 16th storey.
As she was entering the room at about 11.30am, he grabbed her from behind and covered her mouth with a purple towel.
Isa told her he wanted to "make love" to her and tried to kiss her. After dragging her onto the bed by her hair, he pressed a pillow on her face.
The woman, who was staying alone, kicked Isa and lied to him that someone was returning to the room soon.
Alarmed, Isa fled, and the victim called hotel security.
When she heard a knock, she opened the door thinking that help had arrived. But it was Isa who had returned to retrieve his towel that he had left behind in his haste to flee.
One of the hotel staff later made a police report.
The victim was found to have injuries, including a bruised right elbow, when she went to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
After leaving the Hilton, Isa stole a white towel from another hotel and went to the nearby Tang Plaza.
When his second victim, then 48, entered the lift at the seventh storey of the mall, she saw Isa inside and was suspicious when he did not get out despite it being the topmost floor.
The housewife, who was also on holiday in Singapore, became more suspicious when he stood behind her as the lift descended.
As the doors opened on the fifth storey, he tried to restrain her by covering her neck and mouth with the white towel.
She shouted for help in Mandarin while trying to fend off Isa with her handbag and mobile phone.
She managed to hit him with her handbag, but he grabbed her phone in the scuffle before she dashed out when the lift doors opened.
She sought help from a couple and met her husband before calling the police.
The police arrested Isa outside Orchard Hotel the next day after reviewing closed-circuit television footage at the Hilton and Tang Plaza.
The court heard that Isa had committed a string of offences, including multiple counts of armed robbery.
He was first convicted in 1988 of theft and was given eight years of corrective training with 12 strokes of the cane in 1994 for armed robbery and other offences.
In 2002, he was given 14 years of PD and 24 strokes after committing robbery again.
Agreeing with DPP Gan that Isa is a habitual offender, District Judge Victor Yeo called for a report to assess Isa's suitability for another term of PD.
In mitigation, Isa's lawyer, Mr K.V. Sudeep Kumar, asked for 12 years' jail.
He said Isa has erectile dysfunction and could not have committed rape. He also said his client was orphaned at a young age and lived with his stepmother. Isa, who is in remand, is expected to be sentenced on Nov 12.
The Hilton said in a statement yesterday: "The safety, security and well-being of our guests are of paramount importance and we continue to make every effort to ensure all practices and standards are in line with strict safety and security regulations."