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School worker who sexually abused 3 young brothers jailed for 18 years

SINGAPORE — He gained the trust of three young brothers by accompanying them home from school, taking them on outings and buying them gifts. Then, for more than three years, he committed sexual offences against the boys, sometimes even at their homes.

SINGAPORE — He gained the trust of three young brothers by accompanying them home from school, taking them on outings and buying them gifts. Then, for more than three years, he committed sexual offences against the boys, sometimes even at their homes.

On Wednesday (Nov 15), the 53-year-old man was sentenced to 18 years’ jail, as a judge lambasted him for committing these premeditated acts on the “young and defenceless” boys, who are around the age of one of his children. In all, he faced 36 charges, ranging from committing aggravated sexual assault by penetration, to indecent acts with a child.

“Stiff sentences are called for to reflect the gravity of your act,” said Justice Hoo Sheau Peng.

The offender, who cannot be named to protect the victims’ identity, joined the now-defunct primary school as a security guard in 2005.

His care for the three siblings, who were students of the school, was appreciated by their parents, who worked long hours.

In late 2009, the man took the oldest boy, who was then 11, to a staircase landing near the latter’s flat, then performed sexual acts on him.

Over time, he became bolder. Around January or February 2013, he waited for the two younger brothers at a bus stop near their flat, then went home with them. He then committed obscene acts on the boys, then aged 12 and 13, one after another.

It was only in March that year, when the man sent the boys’ mother a text message asking to take her middle child out to shop for school shoes, that her children confided in her about the sexual abuse, and the man was nabbed.

By then, the middle child had been the subject of 22 out of the 36 offences the man was charged with.

Pressing for a sentence of 18 years’ imprisonment, Deputy Public Prosecutors Winston Man and Nicholas Lai slammed the man for abusing his position as a school employee to grow close to the boys and their parents. “As a school employee, the accused cultivated the trust of his victims and their parents by taking the victims for outings, purchasing gifts for them and visiting them at their home. The victims’ parents entrusted their children to the accused as he was a school employee and they thought that he was genuinely concerned for their welfare,” said the prosecutors.

The sexual abuse continues to haunt the boys today, they added. The eldest boy, now aged 19, still has flashbacks of the sexual encounters, whenever he passes by the primary school or reads about similar cases in the news.

In mitigation, defence counsel Choo Zheng Xi pleaded for a lower sentence of 16 years’ jail for his client, who is married with a 16-year-old daughter and a pair of 11-year-old twin sons.

His client, who is a diagnosed paedophile, has a track record in volunteerism, particularly as a member of a Residents’ Committee and a member of a Community Development Council’s anti-crime prevention committee, the lawyer added.

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