Texts reveal top UK uni undergrad alleged voyeur said 'honestly might not come back', planned to 'seek asylum'

Also, 10 out of 12 of his alleged victims want his identity to be made known to the public.

Jason Fan| January 14, 11:25 PM

New evidence has surfaced in the case of the 22-year-old alleged voyeur who was granted approval from a judge to leave Singapore a second time, despite now facing 20 charges, and start his second academic term at a top UK university.

In a bid to keep the man in Singapore, as well as to lift the gag order on his identity, state prosecutors introduced incriminating text messages he sent to friends and also informed the court, according to CNA, that 10 of the 12 victims in the case were keen to have him identified, in an appeal hearing on Tuesday.

According to prosecutors' submissions shared with Mothership, the evidence showed that the man harboured a serious intention to abscond, and was thus a high flight risk.

"Trusted" friend whom he texted turned out to be one of the women he allegedly filmed, she went to police after reading about him being allowed to leave S'pore a second time

CNA reported that there were previously 11 women identified as victims, but a 12th has stepped forward with new evidence.

This came in the form of Telegram messages between the accused and the woman on the evening of October 2, 2019, on the day he was first charged with filming two women in the toilet.

The man had confided in the woman, who later found out that she herself is a victim. It is not clear when she found out she was also a victim of his, but she submitted the texts she exchanged with the accused to the police after reading about him being allowed to leave Singapore a second time on Jan. 10.

A "master plan" to abscond & "seek asylum"; "I honestly might not come back"

In his Telegram messages dated Oct. 2, 2019, the man talked about a "master plan" to abscond by seeking asylum, in order to avoid "certain destruction" if he stays in Singapore.

The man said this to her: "I trust you enough to tell you this. I honestly might not come back."

He also brought up the possibility of gaining asylum if he absconds, and weighed the "certain destruction" of staying in Singapore against the uncertainty of leaving the country.

"Stay for certain destruction, but there is that element of certainty. Or leave, and everything is uncertain, but potentially adverting [sic] this problem," he wrote.

The man also signalled his intention to leave the country for good.

"Honestly, after the first mistake, there is little incentive in this world not to continue to try to lie or run," he wrote. "But surrendering just means you die sooner."

State prosecutors argued that these text messages showed "concrete evidence" of the alleged voyeur's predisposition towards absconding, and that the man had harboured the intention to abscond from as early as the day he was first charged.

It was also noted that the court had given him permission to leave Singapore for his first term of studies on this same day.

The prosecution highlighted that his fear of punishment was already apparent within the texts sent at the preliminary stage of the proceedings, when the man only faced two charges he allegedly committed as "a young person".

With the growing strength of the evidence against him, and the number and seriousness of the fresh charges brought against him as well as the increased likelihood that he will be sentenced to jail if found guilty, the prosecution argued that he was a clear flight risk, because any fear he initially had back in October "can only have intensified since" then.

Conceived "plausible and long-term plan to abscond", weighed pros & cons to jumping bail

Part of the text message exchange submitted by the 12th victim also revealed a list of pros and cons the accused came up with, in considering whether or not to jump bail and stay in the UK.

The pros he listed included:

  • "... the alternative is worse than a guilty mind ... honestly, after the first mistake, there is little incentive in this world not to continue to try to lie or run ... which is kind of bad all around, I don't think people want to live like this. But surrendering just means you die sooner"
  • "[If he did not abscond] I end up dying here anyway ... I could stay here, but that would be certain, at least metaphorical death"
  • "once asylum is held it is pretty okay"

And the corresponding drawbacks:

  • "its pretty amoral" / "a part of me just isn't this amoral"
  • "it is uncertain whether I can remain overseas" and there is fear that "I'll be deported"
  • "[Asylum]'s in the master plan but there is no way of telling how possible that will be ... if not I am forced to return to Singapore where I will then die even more"

He then concluded that his "real decesion [sic] making rubric" was "stay for certain destruction, but there is that element of certainty. Or leave, and everything is uncertain, but potentially adverting [sic] this problem".

From this, prosecutors argued that an "irresistible inference" could be made that the accused had conceived a "plausible and long-term plan to abscond".

They argued that he had already displayed a propensity for premeditation and planning in committing the offences, having allegedly lured the women to his residence and recorded them in the toilet without their knowledge.

This same premeditation, prosecutors argue, can now be observed in his plan to abscond.

The prosecution also repeated that the man did not reveal any concern about his finances or sustaining himself overseas, which indicated that he is "well capable of surviving outside Singapore for sustained periods, whether he is funded by his family or by some other means."

The prosecution stated that although the man's "master plan" was not executed during his last departure from Singapore, the increased charges and stronger evidence indicate that his situation was now more dire than before.

The man was now aware of the full extent of the charges against him, the prosecution argued, and was more likely to carry out his plan now, should he be given permission to leave Singapore.

10 of 12 victims requested that alleged voyeur be identified publicly: prosecutors

Meanwhile, regarding the lifting of the gag order on the accused's identity, prosecutors also reportedly said 10 of the 12 victims identified in the case so far have expressly requested that their alleged perpetrator be identified publicly.

As for the other two victims, one, according to CNA, is under the age of 16 and her family requested she not be consulted about this, and the other expressed reservations about identifying him.

CNA reported that prosecutors argued that there was public interest in the identity of the alleged voyeur, which outweighed the risk and likelihood of his alleged victims being identified. Besides, they added, the media can be guided on the information that is safe to include and which should be excluded in their reports to ensure the victims' identities are protected.

Defence: being charged was "a harrowing experience"; text exchange was "an outburst" and accused was referring to his actual death

Responding to these arguments, CNA reported that the accused's defence lawyer argued that "people started to point at him as the potential offender" after he was first charged, also because some articles detailed his specific school term dates.

The counsel, Kalidass Murugaiyan, submitted a medical report showing that the accused has since 2016 been seeing a doctor for adjustment disorder and a depressed mood.

He also showed text messages the accused sent to another friend on Oct. 3 (a day after he was first charged) after saying he realised that absconding wasn't the right thing to do.

His text was quoted in CNA:

“I need to die. Abatement by death closes this. Doesn't matter if I'm innocent or guilty or whatever. Damage is dealt.”

Decision adjourned to Thursday

According to CNA, after hearing arguments from both the prosecution and the defence for an hour and a half, District Judge Adam Nakhoda said he needed to consider the fresh evidence before him, and adjourned his decision to Thursday afternoon, Jan. 16.

This is despite him saying that he was "loath to delay this matter".

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Top image from Wikipedia.

 

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