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Repeat offender gets 12 years’ preventive detention for molesting 10-year-old

SINGAPORE — A 61-year-old man was put behind bars again on Monday (Jan 18) for molesting a 10-year-old girl, less than a year after he was released from prison for molesting other minors.

Salim Abdul Rahman committed the crime in October 2020, 10 months after he was released from prison for molesting other minors.

Salim Abdul Rahman committed the crime in October 2020, 10 months after he was released from prison for molesting other minors.

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  • Salim Abdul Rahman molested a 10-year-old girl months after he was freed from jail
  • In 2009, he was given 10 years’ preventive detention over multiple charges of molesting other minors
  • He was on Jan 18 put behind bars for 12 years, his eighth prison sentence

 

SINGAPORE — A 61-year-old man was put behind bars again on Monday (Jan 18) for molesting a 10-year-old girl, less than a year after he was released from prison for molesting other minors. 

Salim Abdul Rahman was sentenced to 12 years’ preventive detention, a severe punishment imposed only when the court is satisfied that a recalcitrant offender should be locked away to protect the public. 

This is Salim’s eighth prison sentence. 

Since 1990, he has been variously jailed and caned for offences related to theft, robbery and drug use.

Salim committed his latest crime on Oct 1 last year when he spotted the Primary 4 pupil on her way home from school in the afternoon. 

He worked as a cleaner at a shopping mall at the time.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Colin Ng said that after alighting from a bus near Hougang, Salim approached the girl as he had “evil thoughts of doing something bad”.

The girl cannot be named because of a court order to protect her identity.

He asked the girl where she lived and which school she attended, but she ignored him because he was a stranger. 

Salim persisted and handed her S$1.50, which she took because she feared he would get angry.

He then led her to his home. 

When they reached the staircase landing on the ground floor of his public housing block, the girl refused to follow him up.

Putting his hand over her shoulders, he then touched her chest. 

Frightened, the girl dashed home and cried to her grandmother, who accompanied her to the police station to make a report.

The police arrested Salim that evening and he has been held in remand since.

An assessment by the Institute of Mental Health did not find him to be suffering from a psychiatric disorder or illness.

SOUGHT TO DOWNPLAY CRIME

DPP Ng said that Salim committed the crime 10 months after his release from 10 years’ preventive detention for molesting a minor. 

He asked for a higher sentence, given that the previous jail term did nothing to deter Salim from reoffending.

Arguing that Salim must be taken out of the community, DPP Ng said: “He had targeted the young victim by employing a strikingly similar modus operandi as the offences that he had committed in 2009 (when he was sentenced to 10 years’ preventive detention).”

Salim, who was not represented by a lawyer, pleaded for leniency.

“Can it be less than 10 years? I wish to change for the better and gain employment,” he said in Malay through an interpreter. 

DPP Ng said that during police interviews, Salim sought to downplay his criminality by saying that there were others in prison who committed “very serious offences”, such as rape, and that he had no intention to carry out those acts.

District Judge Victor Yeo agreed that Salim should be removed from the community to protect the public.

“What is also of concern is that the accused had displayed paedophilic sexual interest and sought to trivialise his offending behaviour,” he said.  

Salim’s sentence was backdated to Oct 3 last year.

The maximum punishment for molesting a minor under 14 years old is five years’ jail, caning and a fine. 

Preventive detention, however, is a separate regime from regular sentencing, and can range from seven to 20 years. Offenders must serve their sentences in prison, with no reduction for good behaviour.

Related topics

molest court crime minor

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