Student jailed over nude photo threat

PHOTO: The Straits Times

A polytechnic student who came across nude photos of two models online threatened to trade photos of one of them after she refused to have sex with him.

Winfred Quek Xiu Zhi, 21, had claimed that he would help the victim, a 20-year-old freelance model, remove the photos from a forum website.

This was around August 2013, when Quek called the victim using a foreign number.

He also claimed to have her nude photographs.

The next day, he called the victim again, lying that he had paid $6,000 for her photographs to be removed from the website. He wanted compensation from her.

When asked what he wanted, he said he wanted her to provide sex to him for free.

She initially agreed but changed her mind later.

On Jan 5 last year, while exchanging messages on WhatsApp, Quek badgered the victim.

He urged her to "limit the damage" caused by her nude photos being "leaked" on the front page of the website.

He also lied that he had spent thousands of dollars to remove her nude photos, with the expectation that she would provide sex to him.

While pestering her, he asked if it would be good if her boyfriend saw her nude photos. She replied that she did not care any more if he wanted to trade photos with others.

Quek then gave her "one last chance" to take up his offer. When she did not respond, he said in a text message: "Good luck. Remember, you brought this upon yourself... You will one day remember your stupidity."

Sentencing Quek to 10 weeks' jail yesterday for criminal intimidation, District Judge Lim Keng Yeow said it was not an idle threat but clearly serious in nature.

"The offender did everything he could to give the victim reason to accede to his demand. He gave every impression that he had the capability, the motivation and the readiness to carry out his threat so as to strengthen the force of his demand," he said.

Judge Lim rejected counsel Jonathan Phipps' argument that it was a "spur of the moment" offence.

He said he had considered that Quek committed the offence as a youthful offender.

But given the serious nature of the offence and the manner in which it was committed, probation was clearly inappropriate and a custodial sentence was necessary, he noted.

Quek is appealing. Bail of $15,000 has been offered.

The maximum punishment for the offence is two years' jail and a fine.

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