Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Man accused of attempted rape planned to flee to M’sia after absconding from court hearing; nabbed at hotel

SINGAPORE — A 21-year-old man, who absconded from court on Monday (March 22) before he was set to plead guilty to sexual assault and attempted rape, was arrested on Tuesday after he made plans to flee to Malaysia by boat.

A man who did not turn up for a court hearing is accused of sexually assaulting and trying to rape a 15-year-old girl at the foot of a Pasir Ris public housing block in October 2017.

A man who did not turn up for a court hearing is accused of sexually assaulting and trying to rape a 15-year-old girl at the foot of a Pasir Ris public housing block in October 2017.

SINGAPORE — A 21-year-old man, who absconded from court on Monday (March 22) before he was set to plead guilty to sexual assault and attempted rape, was arrested on Tuesday after he made plans to flee to Malaysia by boat. 

He was hauled back to High Court on Wednesday morning and prosecutors said that they intend to charge him with one more offence of perverting the course of justice.

The Singaporean, sporting dyed blond hair and a grey long-sleeved shirt, cannot be named due to a court order to protect the victim’s identity.

He is accused of sexually assaulting and trying to rape a 15-year-old girl at the foot of a Pasir Ris public housing block in October 2017. The girl had become intoxicated while playing a game of "truth or dare" with the accused, then aged 18, and a group of youth.   

On Wednesday, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Winston Man told the court that police officers mounted an operation and arrested the accused at the Bencoolen Strand hotel, where his friend was staying, on Tuesday afternoon.

The other man — Oh Swee Hong, 21 — was also arrested and charged on Wednesday afternoon with harbouring an offender, which carries up to seven years’ jail and a fine.

He appeared in court via video-link, sporting blond hair and a black T-shirt. A bail of S$20,000 was offered to him and a police prosecutor applied for him to be electronically tagged.

Oh’s case was adjourned until April 21, pending surveillance footage and a statement from another witness. 

The first man’s lawyer, Mr Clarence Lun from law firm Fervent Chambers, told reporters that his client wanted to flee to Malaysia by boat, and that he was not in contact with his father, a taxi driver, after absconding.

He had eaten breakfast with his father and Mr Lun at a building next to the Supreme Court before the hearing. He then complained of stomach problems and went to the toilet, but did not return.

Justice Mavis Chionh later issued a warrant of arrest against him.

DPP Man urged the court on Wednesday not to grant bail, saying the man was “plainly a flight risk” and that he had breached a basic term of his bail condition.

“What is being contemplated in relation to the accused will be at least one further charge of perverting the court of justice, under Section 204A of the Penal Code,” the prosecutor added.

Mr Lun said in response that he had no objection to his client being remanded. “In respect of the fresh charges, we are disappointed to hear of the adverse turn of events and will await fresh charges and developments,” he added.

Justice Chionh then called for another hearing to determine if the accused’s S$30,000 bail should be forfeited, and allowed his father to speak to him before he was taken into remand.

The accused now faces seven charges in total — two of sexual assault by penetration and one of attempted rape in relation to the incident. The others are of theft, voluntarily causing hurt and dishonest misappropriation of property.

Another man, then aged 19, was sentenced to nine years’ jail and nine strokes of the cane last year after pleading guilty to raping the victim. He had sought to retract his plea before getting a new lawyer.  

Related topics

sexual assault court crime attempted rape abscond

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.