Singapore: A police officer investigating a teenager on suspicion of attempted suicide asked for her phone number and continued to send her harassing text messages for the next 18 days.

He asked the 19-year-old when she ate, took a shower, and slept, who she was meeting, and asked her to meet him again. When she ignored him, he urged her to reply to her immediately.

Leow Jin Jie, 33, was imprisoned for 20 days on Friday (June 24) after pleading guilty to stalking.

He has been working for the Singapore Police Force (SPF) since 2009 and was an investigator when he was assigned to the victim’s case in 2017.

According to court documents, he said he had committed a crime because “he had a marital problem and wanted to test if he was still worth the woman.”

The victim had a history of mental health problems and was diagnosed with major depressive disorder with borderline personality traits. Her identity is protected by a gag order.

“Don’t get tired … don’t offend me”

The court heard that Leow first met the victim when he went to her house to record her statement on September 27, 2017.

He asked her parents to leave so that she could take her statement alone, and asked her to sit next to him. After receiving her statement, he asked to exchange her phone number.

The next morning he started sending messages to the victim via WhatsApp. He first asked about her well-being and advised her to eat properly and take her tonic.

But within 45 minutes, his message began to distort in the direction of asking when she met her male friend and when she went to bed. He also offered to drop in at her place with what she needed.

“He was only supposed to talk to her about investigation-related issues and knew that the interaction with her after recording her remarks was inappropriate,” Leo said. Yvonne Poon said.

The victim began to feel harassed when Leo sent her the message that morning, “Don’t mischief. I’m not eating, go eat. Don’t offend me.”

“She was always checking her, so she felt harassed, threatened to get angry, and felt like she was trying to control her by saying” good boy “,” Poon said.

The prosecutor added that the victim also felt insulted when he commented on her body and was suffering from continuing to try to meet her.

Leo’s message to the victims continued daily until October 4, 2017. Her message ranged from asking him to let him know when she arrived at her house, to telling her that she was cute and inviting her.

At one point he said to her, “Don’t have sex.” He also said he was sending a message to the victims “because I think you look gorgeous the first time I meet you.”

During this time, the message was automatically deleted, so Leow repeatedly requested the victim to move the conversation to Snapchat.

The victim felt harassed and hesitated to engage with him any further, often leaving hours between her replies. In contrast, Leow responded within minutes, if not seconds.

The victim joked that the police had “a lot of leisure”, but the prosecutor said he was so older than her that he didn’t dare to cut off Leo altogether.

“He was not only a police officer, but also an investigator in her case. She was afraid of the consequences she might face if she offended him,” Poon said. rice field.

As an investigator in the victim’s case, Leo also had access to the victim’s psychiatric records and was aware of multiple episodes of her depression and self-harm.

Incident at the hospital

In mid-October 2017, the victim was taken to the hospital for a medical examination. Angry at Leo’s message, she told him she didn’t reply because she was in the hospital.

The victim refused to give Leo a ward number and said he did not want a visitor. Leo then told her that she could see her ward number if needed, but refrained from respecting her.

After that, Leo was in the hospital to investigate another problem. He sent the victim a picture of the parking lot and asked again which ward she was in.

When the victim told Leo that his parents were nearby and couldn’t see her, he told her to wait downstairs. She didn’t reply.

Leo later saw the victim at the smoke point, but stayed away from her because he was with his mother.

He took a picture of her surroundings and sent it to her, he saw her, and told her she “looked cute,” court documents said.

The victim was frightened and harassed and eventually told his mother about Leo’s behavior after leaving the smoking corner.

The victim became intolerant of harassment and deleted the message to block the phone number.

The crime was discovered in November 2019, about two years after the victim was involved in another suicide attempt.

The victim’s mother demanded that a female investigator be assigned to the case because a former police officer sent an inappropriate message to her daughter.

The victim’s mother was then advised to report to Leow on November 19, 2019.

“Very vulnerable” VICTIM

The prosecution demanded a prison for 20 to 30 days, emphasizing Leow’s abuse of his position and giving him “free access” to “very vulnerable” victims.

“Always, this accused was a police officer who was supposed to perform his duties without fear or favor,” Poon said.

Instead, Leo “broke down on multiple aspects of her life, from her social activities to the people she was dating.”

As her investigator, Mr. Poon said he was able to obtain “very intimate information” about her psychological and physical condition.

“Even though the victim knew in great detail that he was very vulnerable in many ways … (Leow) asked if the victim was” still worth the woman “. I thought it would be suitable to use the victim as a kind of personal experiment to do.

“He apparently had nothing to think about tampering with her mental and physical safety.”

Attorney Marcus Lim argued that Leo’s crimes were committed in a “short” period, limited to text messages, and that victims did not need to adjust their lifestyle to avoid him. 7 Asked for a prison within a day.

“There is nothing to suggest that the victim was harmed or traumatized as a result of my client’s actions,” Lim said with an example of no loss of appetite.

He added that Leow won “a number of awards for stellar performance” during his career at SPF, and that his unpleasant behavior was out of his personality.

The prosecution replied that what the defense raised was not a mitigation factor, but a deteriorating factor.

Leo wasn’t physically present when he harassed the victim, but the degree of intrusion from his message was still important, Poon said.

“Law enforcement officers must be bound by impeccable standards,” she added.

In the judgment, Judge Dora Thai said, “I would like to assure the accused that he considered it important and considered the full context of the message, but in the relationship between the two talking. You also have to keep in mind. Explaining each other and the victims … why she said what she said. “

The judge said that Leo had targeted vulnerable victims in terms of her age, relative position to him, and the mental stressors she faced, and that he had information and access to her. Said that taking advantage of his position was getting worse.

In response to CNA’s question, SPF said it began investigating Leow after a possible breach of Leow surfaced, removing him from frontline duties.

He has been out of service since November 5, 2020, and they added that the SPF was convicted of him and began internal action against him.

Police said police officers were “expected to uphold the law and maintain the highest standards of conduct and integrity,” and dealt severely with officers who “broke the law, including prosecution in court.” He added that he was.

The SPF stated that the general public and officers have taken steps to report on such issues.

“No form of harassment is tolerated and any allegations will be fully investigated.”

Violations of stalking can result in imprisonment of up to 1 year, a fine of up to S $ 5,000 or both.

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