SINGAPORE - He lived in a world most would find strange and few would understand.
It is not known how long he had kept it a secret, but Lu Choon Sien's twisted sexual urges were finally exposed when he was arrested last Nov 7.
At his flat in the eastern part of Singapore, police found a long-haired wig, a pair of silicone breasts, a handbag, blue panties, a bra, a blue dress and a pair of black leggings.
There were other incriminating and sinister items: Pieces of black rope and 142 obscene films in his laptop. The IT support officer had a habit of dressing as a woman to satisfy his sexual urges.
But on Nov 7, he went too far. Dressed as a woman, he tried to strangle a 27-year-old from his neighbourhood with a 3m-long rope. Yesterday, the 33-year-old was sentenced to eight months' jail for voluntarily causing hurt and keeping porn.
Lu's mental state was outlined in court by Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiagesh Sukumaran. Mr Thiagesh said: "It appears that his actions were an escalation of his primary disorder, making him a grave danger and a menace to society."
Court documents showed that Lu, who was accompanied in court by his parents, suffers from fetishistic transvestism, sadomasochism and Schizoid Personality Disorder. As a result, he retreats into a dark, fantasy world.
He derives sexual pleasure from wearing women's clothes and is aroused when he inflicts pain or through bondage. A report by Dr Jaydip Sarkar from the Institute of Mental Health stated: "The present facts represent an escalation of his masochism disorder into a sadistic disorder."
Lu had moved from trying to do with others what he previously did alone to "arouse himself sexually and ejaculate". Lu's lawyer, Mr Foo Cheow Ming, had asked the court to consider his client's mental health during mitigation. But Mr Thiagesh argued that Lu had full control.
Added Mr Thiagesh: "He made rational choices to dress up as a female, carry a rope in his handbag and attack a defenceless victim in the dead of night."
The woman, who cannot be named to protect her identity, bore the brunt of Lu's deviant fantasy. At around 3am on Nov 7 last year, the woman was returning home when she had noticed Lu near her unit.
She thought Lu was a woman. She was fooled by the grey jacket and shoulder-length wig he had on. Lu was also carrying a handbag. As she was about to unlock her door, Lu struck from behind. He took the rope from his handbag and began strangling her with it.
Her screams alerted her husband, who was asleep in the flat. Lu fled the scene before he could be confronted. While the physical scars the woman sustained appeared superficial, the mental scars run deeper, the court was told.
She now has to live with "nightmares every few nights". She said in her victim impact statement: "Whenever I sleep, I have to switch on the lights. I also find it harder to sleep.
"This is because sometimes when I close my eyes, I will suddenly think of the incident, causing me trauma. "After the incident, I even thought of leaving Singapore for my homeland, China."
This article was published on Sept 12 in The New Paper.
Get The New Paper for more stories.