S'porean man, 24, jailed 8 months for choking woman, 37, till she was unconscious to smell her feet

He did so at a carpark staircase landing at Terminal 4 of Changi Airport.

Syahindah Ishak | January 05, 2022, 06:28 PM

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A 24-year-old male Singaporean student, Cheong Jia Jin, was sentenced to eight months' jail for choking a 37-year-old woman until she lost consciousness so that he could smell her feet.

He had pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt.

Another charge of attempted outrage of modesty was taken into consideration during his sentencing.

What happened

Met the victim through a website

According to court documents seen by Mothership, sometime in mid-October 2020, Cheong was browsing 'maybe.sg', a website for people to rent a date.

He then came across the victim, who cannot be named due to a gag order protecting her identity, and booked a date with her through the website.

Around the same time, Cheong had also contacted the victim on Instagram as he was interested in her, but he did not inform her that he had booked a date with her through the website.

Went on a date around Changi Airport

At around 6pm on Oct. 26, 2020, Cheong met the victim for a date. They went to Changi Jurassic Mile and were there for slightly more than an hour.

At around 7:30pm, he brought her to the Level 4 staircase landing of Carpark 4A of Changi Airport's Terminal 4.

As stated in court documents, Cheong told the victim that he wanted to record a TikTok video with her.

While they were climbing the stairs of the carpark, he opened the door at each level to check that there was no one around.

At the Level 4 staircase landing, he placed his mobile phone on the cabinet containing a fire extinguisher to record a TikTok video with her.

Choked her until she was unconscious

He positioned her such that she was facing the wall with her back to the camera.

After pressing the record button on his phone, he walked over to the victim.

He then wrapped his right forearm around her neck to perform a rear-naked choke, a move he had learned from a martial arts course some time ago.

The victim struggled for around 15 seconds, trying to grab something to break free before she became unconscious.

Court documents stated that Cheong intended to render the victim unconscious and knew that there was a risk that she could die from being choked.

While she was unconscious, Cheong laid her on the ground and decided to lift her shirt to touch her as he felt aroused.

He lifted her shirt up to her belly button area and decided not to continue.

Victim woke up with her head on his lap

A few seconds after that, the victim woke up and found herself on Cheong’s lap.

She immediately got up to compose herself, before collecting her belongings and running down the staircase in fear.

According to court documents, she ran towards a car and sought help.

While still in shock, the victim told the driver that someone was trying to kill her.

On the advice of the driver, she made a police report.

She told the police that she managed to escape after being strangled and needed help.

The police contacted Cheong on the same night. Most of the assault was captured on his phone.

Bruises on her neck and knee

The victim was sent to Changi General Hospital at around 10:05pm that night.

Based on her medical report, there was bruising around her neck region and right knee.

She was given four days of medical leave and was prescribed medication before she was discharged.

Since the attack, the victim has been suffering from anxiety and panic attacks.

Her family physician referred her to a specialist at the Asian Heart & Vascular Centre in December 2020.

The report from the specialist found that the victim was troubled by symptoms of numbness and cold sweats and that these symptoms were mostly anxiety-related.

He does not fulfil the criteria for a fetishistic disorder

On Oct. 28, 2020, Cheong was charged in court and was remanded at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) for two weeks for psychiatric observation.

According to the IMH report, Cheong has a known history of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) but no longer experienced symptoms as an adult.

It was also found that he does not have any major mental illness and does not fulfil the criteria for a fetishistic disorder.

Prosecution sought nine to 12 months' jail time

As reported by Yahoo, Cheong's lawyer argued that Cheong's offences were not premeditated.

According to his lawyer, Cheong had checked the staircase landing for other people as he did not want his TikTok video interrupted.

His lawyer also highlighted that Cheong had only decided to choke the victim when he was about to press the record button.

The prosecution for the case, however, had sought nine to 12 months' jail for Cheong, stating that the manner of the attack was "vicious".

The prosecution also said that the purpose and motive of the choking were aggravating, as Cheong had meant to smell the victim's feet and was later tempted to outrage her modesty by touching her.

"It is alarming and worrying that such a brazen act of choking (with the intention to outrage the victim’s modesty) could have been done in a country that we pride as being safe," the prosecution added, according to court documents.

Top image via Google StreetView.