Man assaulted sex worker and robbed another woman just months after release from prison

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
July 9, 2019

Just five months after serving his eight-year corrective training (CT), a recalcitrant offender went back to his life of crime and assaulted a sex worker last September.

Three months later, cleaner Muhammad Rozaimie Zainal robbed another woman at knifepoint in Maxwell Road and made off with $1,052 in cash.

CT is a prison regime for repeat offenders without the usual one-third remission for good behaviour. The maximum period is 14 years.

Rozaimie, 41, pleaded guilty on Tuesday (July 9) to one count each of assault and robbery.

The court heard that he was sentenced to his first CT in 2003 for offences including criminal intimidation and drug consumption. He had to spend six years behind bars and ordered to receive eight strokes of the cane.

After his release, he committed multiple counts of robbery and was given his second CT in 2010.

That time, he was detained for eight years with the maximum 24 strokes of the cane.

He was released in April last year, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Vincent Ong.

On Sept 9 last year, Rozaimie went to Orchard Towers shopping centre and approached a 33-year-old Vietnamese sex worker for her services.

She agreed to have sex with him for $100 and they checked into a room at the New Orchid Hotel in Balestier Road.

The pair started quarrelling soon after as Rozaimie wanted to pay her only after they had sex. When the woman tried to leave, he grabbed her left hand and blocked the door.

She tried to push him away and he retaliated by punching her head several times. He also scratched her face, neck and chest.

The sex worker eventually managed to get away and alerted the police. She went to Tan Tock Seng Hospital on Sept 11 and was found to have tenderness on her head and scratch marks on her body.

In a separate incident on Dec 17 last year, the court heard that a Singaporean woman, identified as Ms N.S. Koh, 31, was walking towards Tanjong Pagar MRT station at around 11pm when she stopped to play a piano near the entrance of the URA Centre in Maxwell Road.

Rozaimie spotted Ms Koh and decided to rob her. With a knife in his hand, he said to her: "If you don't want anything to happen to you... give me money."

The terrified woman told him she had only $52 in her wallet.

Rozaimie repeated his request and they went to an ATM at Tanjong Pagar MRT station where she withdrew $1,000.

Ms Koh handed him $1,052 in total and he fled the scene.

She reported the matter to the control station staff who called the police. Officers arrested Rozaimie at Lucky Plaza shopping centre two days later.

DPP Ong told District Judge Jasvender Kaur that Rozaimie has made no restitution.

On Tuesday, Judge Kaur called for reports to assess his suitability for CT and preventive detention (PD).

According to the Singapore Legal Advice website, PD is only for repeat offenders who are above 30 years old. Compared to CT, PD involves a longer period of incarceration, lasting up to 20 years.

Rozaimie's case was adjourned to July 30.

On each robbery charge, offenders can be jailed for between three and 14 years, and ordered to receive at least 12 strokes of the cane.

The Straits Times

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