A MACHINE operator would don a surgical mask when he preyed on young women in the Jurong West area. His dismay was clearly evident on Friday when he was sentenced to five years in jail and 18 strokes of the cane for molesting five women, three at knifepoint.
A district court heard that Tan Chee Wei, 22, had even targeted a 23-year-old sales assistant twice. On the first occasion on Aug 16, the masked Malaysian had followed her down the bus to her block of flats.
As she got out of the lift, he pulled out a penknife and forced her to go to the sixth-floor staircase landing. There, he pulled down his shorts and her panties. He put on a plastic glove to touch her private parts. Once he noticed she was menstruating, he walked away.
Nine days later, he saw her walking in the neighbourhood and followed her home and attacked her again. This time, he fondled her breasts and inserted his finger into her. He fled when she screamed for help.
He molested the other women at knifepoint on Aug 20 and 22. Tan also pleaded guilty to outraging the modesty of a 27-year-old by hugging her and stroking her hip on Aug 7. For this, he was jailed three months.
Some family members had come down from Malaysia and he smiled weakly at them as he was led off to prison by a police officer.