After following an elderly woman into an HDB lift as she returned home late at night, Lee Swee Chung demanded money from her at knife-point.
But the 69-year-old did not have any cash on her, and she ran out of the lift and shouted for help. Lee was caught on camera and later arrested.
Yesterday, Lee, 46, was sentenced to two years in jail and six strokes of the cane for attempted robbery on Aug 15 this year.
The court heard that Lee, then a driver, had followed Madam Lee Ah Cheng to her HDB block along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 around 11.50pm.
Madam Lee, who noticed Lee following her, saw him putting on a pair of blue latex gloves at one point. She hurried into the lift and tried to close the door but he used his hand to prevent it from closing, before entering and pressing the button for a higher floor.
As the lift was ascending, Lee, speaking in Hokkien, suddenly demanded $500, but his would-be victim said she did not have any cash on her.
He reduced his demand to $100, but she repeated that she had no money. This was when Lee threatened her with a penknife, shouting "No money!" at her in frustration.
Just then, the lift arrived at her floor and Lee fled the scene.
Assistant Public Prosecutor Andrew Low said the offence had taken place late at night, and against a vulnerable victim.
Lee had shown a degree of premeditation in following her and had caused fear and alarm by his use of the penknife, Mr Low added.
Besides at least six strokes of the cane, Lee could have been jailed for up to seven years.
This article was first published on Nov 5, 2014.
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