SINGAPORE: A jobless man is the first to be convicted of unlawful stalking under the island republic's Protection from Harassment Act (Poha).
Twenty-six-year-old Lai Zhi Heng had stalked his former girlfriend, a 19-year-old student, between November 2014 and November last year and had repeatedly threatened to release her nude pictures to people she knew if she did not heed his requests to meet him and send him more nude pictures.
He was jailed a year after he had admitted to unlawful stalking, rash act causing hurt and criminal intimidation with a stalking charge taken into consideration in sentencing.
Under Poha, the maximum penalty for unlawful stalking is a S$5,000 (RM15,178) fine and 12 months' jail while for criminal intimidation, the maximum penalty is 10 years' jail and a fine
During that one-year period, Lai posted her nude pictures onto the Facebook page of the victim's school's student club, put up flyers with her picture and harassing messages near her home.
He was charged last November and while
out on bail earlier this year, he threatened to post her nude
pictures online if she did not give a mitigation letter to his
The two had a brief sexual relationship in 2013 while she was romantically involved with another man. Due to Lai's continual harassment, she broke up with her then-boyfriend and although Lai wanted her to be his girlfriend, she rejected him.
After she complained to her lecturer about the harassment in late 2013, Lai had an argument with the lecturer and left school, blaming the victim for "ruining his life".
Months later, he sent her a picture of his private parts and asked for one in exchange. When she ignored him, he threatened to go to her home and harass her.
She then complied and Lai used the picture to further threaten her. She ended up sending him 30 naked pictures of herself but he continued sending her harassing messages and even printed flyers and put them up at her block.
District Judge Lim Keng Yeow warned young people who may engage in sexting, treating it as adventurous and harmless.
"The facts of this case do demonstrate how sexting can lead to an avalanche of harm far beyond what a sender can anticipate. What seems innocent may easily prove to be profoundly damaging, for there are myriad motivations and methods for what is sexted to be abused."
Picture credit: http://lorirtaylor.com/