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Serial offender who sexually assaulted neighbour’s 13-year-old children gets preventive detention

SINGAPORE — When his neighbours’ young son and daughter asked him for cigarettes, he sexually assaulted them repeatedly before giving them the cash and cigarettes they wanted.

  • The man targeted his neighbour’s son and daughter when they asked him for cigarettes
  • He also gave them money and told them to keep quiet about the incidents
  • His offences came to light only after the girl told the authorities her father had raped her
  • He was previously given corrective training in 1999 for sexually abusing a teenage boy


SINGAPORE — When his neighbours’ young son and daughter asked him for cigarettes, he sexually assaulted them repeatedly before giving them the cash and cigarettes they wanted.

His offences were exposed a few years later after the girl reported to the police that she had been raped by her father, leading to further investigations.

The Singaporean man, now aged 64, was sentenced to 12 years’ preventive detention in the High Court on Monday (Sept 27) for his offences, which were committed over two-and-a-half years.

He cannot be named due to a court order to protect his victims’ identities.

The man, who used to work as a dishwasher, had pleaded guilty earlier this year to four counts of sexual penetration of a minor under 14. Another 11 similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.

Preventive detention is a severe punishment imposed on recalcitrant offenders whom the court deems should be locked away so as to protect the public. It does not offer the usual sentence remission for good behaviour.

This was the man's latest brush with the law, which includes being sentenced to five years of corrective training and six strokes of the cane in 1999 for molesting a 17-year-old boy.

He had lured the boy to a vacant building on the pretext of giving him work, and later gave the boy S$10 for the sexual acts.

Corrective training is a harsher form of imprisonment, as the offender is unlikely to be given early release for factors such as good behaviour.


The court heard that for his latest crimes, his victims were aged 13 at the time.

The two siblings lived in a Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat with their family, while the accused lived by himself in the same block. The victims’ father occasionally invited him to their flat, where he would ask for cigarettes.

The male victim occasionally ran into the man at a nearby coffee shop and started to ask him for cigarettes, which the man gave to him.

After several occasions, the man invited him to his flat to talk.

During one of these occasions in June 2016, the boy was there when the man played pornography on his laptop. They smoked together while watching the obscene video.

He then performed a sexual act on the boy before giving him S$20 and a few cigarettes, telling the boy to keep silent.

This happened again shortly afterwards because the boy knew the man would offer him money and cigarettes in exchange for sexual services.

In relation to the second victim, she was with her secondary school classmate — identified only as D in court documents — at the void deck of an HDB flat in May 2017 when she saw the accused.

She recalled her brother previously telling her about the accused giving him cigarettes, so she approached the accused to ask for some herself.

He said that he did not have any and asked her to go to his flat an hour later to get some.

The two girls later went up and the accused told the victim not to take her friend along if she wanted cigarettes from him.

She then returned alone a few days later. They were smoking together when he asked her to remove her top, persisting despite her reluctance and saying repeatedly that it would only be for a while.

He then sexually assaulted her before giving her S$40.

A few days later, he abused her again and gave her some cigarettes, before giving her another S$50 sometime later.

On Nov 2 in 2019, the girl made a police report that her father had raped her. The accused’s offences then came to light during investigations, and an investigation officer filed a police report four days later.

The girl’s father has been charged and his case is pending.


Deputy Public Prosecutors Victoria Ting and Kevin Ho had asked for a report to assess if the accused was suitable for preventive detention, so as to protect the public.

His criminal history dated back to the 1970s, when he was placed in a juvenile home and given reformative training for theft and drug possession.

His past convictions also ranged from armed robbery, attempted housebreaking and theft by night, robbery with hurt, and drug consumption.

As for his previous sexual offence conviction in 1999, the man had approached a 17-year-old boy, lured him to a vacant hospital in the vicinity, and threatened him with a lit cigarette in order to molest him.

He then sexually assaulted the boy and gave him S$10.

In an Institute of Mental Health report, it was stated that the man has never been married and had lost contact with his previous girlfriend, with whom he had a child out of wedlock.

Those convicted of sexual assault by penetration of a minor can be jailed for up to 20 years, and fined or caned.

Related topics

crime court sexual assault molest

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