Man jailed three months for stalking and harassing girls
Former insurance agent used fake survey form to obtain his victims' personal data, and also took upskirt photos of one woman
For about a year, a former insurance agent stalked schoolgirls and collected their personal information by asking them to fill up "educational" surveys.
Fong Poh Kuen, 43, was so obsessed with one girl that he stalked her for more than four years.
Apart from harassing his victims, he also took photographs of some of them.
District Judge Ong Luan Tze yesterday sentenced Fong to three months' jail and a fine of $8,000 for six offences in 2017.
Four were for causing alarm, one for unlawful stalking and one for insult of modesty.
Six similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.
The unlawful stalking offence was for stalking the girl from 2015 to 2017, while the other offences involved different victims.
Fong first noticed the girl when she was in Secondary 1, and kept track of her before asking her to do his "survey" when she was in Secondary 3, Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiagesh Sukumaran told the court.
When she declined, he continued monitoring her, even after she went to junior college (JC).
On Feb 13, 2017, he followed the girl, then 17, as she walked from her JC to an MRT station and took 22 photographs of her.
"The accused later downloaded the photographs into his laptop," said DPP Thiagesh.
Three days later, Fong managed to get her to fill up his survey form. He used her phone number to text her "Happy Good Friday" soon after she left.
With his "survey", Fong preyed on girls outside various secondary schools and JCs by collecting their names, contact numbers and addresses.
He collated the data into an Excel spreadsheet in his laptop.
In February 2017, he was attracted to a 16-year-old student and asked her to do his survey before following her into a bus, and he took 58 photos of her in about 15 minutes.
When she found out he had been following her, she was scared that several of the photos might be indecent.
She no longer finds it safe and her father has to accompany her home, the court was told.
In October 2017, a school teacher made a police report after Fong was seen lurking outside the school.
A student had noticed Fong holding a mobile phone at chest height and filming students walking past him.
On Feb 6, 2017, Fong noticed a woman at a bus stop in Marine Parade Road.
He felt that she was wearing an "inappropriate skirt" and took two upskirt photos of her.
During submissions, DPP Thiagesh called for Fong to be jailed for three months and fined $12,000, as his offences had infringed on the privacy of teenage girls and occurred over an extended period.
Fong's lawyer, Mr Krishna R. Sharma, argued that his client should be given probation and a lower fine, and referenced a case last month where university student Terence Siow Kai Yuan was given probation after molesting a woman.
While Mr Krishna acknowledged the facts in the cases were different, he also highlighted that Fong has schizoid personality disorder, which drove him to "mismanage social relationships" and "restricted his expression in an interpersonal setting".
In response, DPP Thiagesh said Siow's case is now on appeal before the High Court and should not be used as a sentencing precedent.
He also highlighted that Fong is not below the age of 21 and did not show a strong propensity to reform or any exceptional circumstances to allow probation.
Probation is more commonly granted to offenders below 21, depending on the offence and the character of the offender.
For those above 21, factors such as extreme propensity for reform or exception circumstances will be considered.
During sentencing, Judge Ong agreed that Fong's age and profile did not suit probation.