Singapore—A 24-year-old student who paid a woman to go on a date with him, choked her till she she passed out, just so he could sniff her feet.
Cheong Jia Jin pleaded guilty on Wednesday (Jan 5) and was sentenced to eight months in jail for voluntarily causing hurt to the 37-year-old woman. Another charge of attempted outrage of modesty was considered in his sentencing.
Cheong didn’t only assault the woman while they were alone in a stairwell at Changi Airport, he even filmed his attack on the woman.
She is not named in order to protect her privacy.
The attack happend in the evening of Oct 26, 2020. The two had met through the maybe.sg website and Cheng scheduled a date with her.
They first went to Changi Jurassic Mile, and then at around 7:30pm, Cheong told her he wanted to record a TikTok video with her, and they went to a staircase landing at level four of Terminal 4 of the airport, where they were completely alone.
After setting his camera on a fire extinguisher to record his acts, he placed the woman in a rear naked choke, wrapping his right arm around her neck. He had learnt this move when he took a martial arts course.
A report in Yahoo! Singapore says Cheong was aware that this move could have resulted in her death.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Norine Tan told the court, “The victim struggled for around 15 seconds, trying in vain to grab something to break free, before she became unconscious.”
Cheong had meant to molest her after she fainted, but only got as far as lifting her shirt to expose her stomach before deciding against groping her breasts.
When the woman came to, she found her head in Cheong’s lap. She stood up, grabbed her belongings and fled. She asked a driver in the building for help.
The court was able to view much of Cheong’s assault on his victim, because he had captured it on his camera. The court heard that Cheong has a foot fetish and choked his date as he wanted to smell her feet.
After the woman told the driver what happened, and that a man had tried to kill her, the driver advised her to file a police report.
At Changi General Hospital, she was given medical leave for four days as she had bruising around her neck and knee and co;d not swallow without pain
The police contacted Cheong who was surrendered himself and was remanded at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) for psychiatric observation from Oct 28 to Nov 11, 2020. IMH found that that while he had he used to have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, he had no major mental illness and did not qualify as someone with a fetishistic disorder, reported Yahoo.
On the other hand, the woman had been plagued by anxiety and panic attacks, and would break out in cold sweats and feel numb.
The prosecutor argued for Cheong to be jailed for nine to 12 months, saying, “The accused feared for her life in the aftermath and was traumatised. What cannot be denied is how this affected her months after the attack.”
For voluntarily causing hurt to the woman, Cheong could have been jailed for as long as three years and fined $5,000. /TISG
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