It may be five months ago when she found a stranger in her bedroom in the middle of the night, but Joyce still continues to wake up in cold sweat.
"I saw only a dark shadow of a boy. But I was so frightened. I was shivering and started praying," the 41-year-old Filipino maid told The Straits Times as she recalled the incident.
When the boy ran out, Joyce woke her employer, who called police.
Yesterday, the "boy", 18-year-old student Zach Sim Chu Hong, was ordered to undergo treatment for a year for his fetish for women's underwear.
He had admitted to trespass by entering an apartment at Pine Grove condominium in Clementi on April 11. He had gone looking for unwashed lingerie to sniff, after having been aroused by the pornography he watched at his nearby Housing Board flat at 2am.
He went into the condominium by its main gate, climbed into the balcony of the ground-floor apartment where Joyce worked, and entered through a sliding door. It was when he bumped into Joyce's bed frame that the maid woke up.
In an interview this week, Joyce, who did not want her full name published, said she now fears being alone at home. She has been working in Singapore for eight years and her employers moved into another Pine Grove unit two years ago.
"It's a very quiet estate. In the past, we left the doors open even at night. Now we make sure that we lock all the doors," said the divorcee with three children, one of whom is around Sim's age.
But she also expressed sympathy for the trespasser when told that he has "low-average" IQ.
When Joyce raised the alarm, Sim dashed out through the condominium's back gate. He was caught by the police as he tried to run home.
Sim had also admitted to a further count of trespass at another Pine Grove unit on Feb 22, entering through the window of a second-floor unit's master bedroom toilet.
He could have been jailed for up to a year and fined up to $3,000 for house trespass.
He is required to remain indoors between 11pm and 6am.
Urging him to comply with the treatment order and put the offences behind him, Community Court Judge Mathew Joseph said: "You are still young and can play a useful role in society."
This article was first published on Oct 4, 2014.
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