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Serial rapist gets 37-and-a-half years’ jail, 24 strokes

SINGAPORE — Over a span of 10 months, he lured 22 women through the Internet using false personas, drugged them and committed various sexual offences against them while they were unconscious.

Photo: Singapore Police Force

Photo: Singapore Police Force

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SINGAPORE — Over a span of 10 months, he lured 22 women through the Internet using false personas, drugged them and committed various sexual offences against them while they were unconscious.

For his crimes, Azuar Ahamad, 44, branded by the prosecution as the “worst serial rapist ever dealt with in Singapore”, was sentenced to 37-and-a-half years in jail and 24 strokes of the cane.

The former logistics executive, who pleaded guilty in August 2012 to three charges of rape and a charge of sexual assault, showed no emotion as he was sentenced by a High Court judge yesterday.

Another 30 charges of rape, sexual assault, outrage of modesty, theft and possession of obscene films were taken into consideration for sentencing.

Handing down the sentence yesterday, Justice Chan Seng Onn said Azuar’s offences had been “clearly premeditated” and he did not “sense true remorse in this case”.

“It was sheer luck that a boyfriend of a potential victim managed to confront Azuar because her drink was spiked … Because of that, the (history of) spiked drinks was revealed. Previous victims would not have known (without that),” said Justice Chan.

“(I see) very limited prospects of rehabilitation and he will remain a danger to society if not given a fairly long sentence,” the judge added.

In mitigation papers submitted by his defence lawyer Suresh Damodara, Azuar pleaded for leniency in light of family circumstances, writing that his mother was recently diagnosed with a heart condition and he wanted to “manage and care (for) her before she leave(s) this world”.

Mr Suresh also argued that, in terms of impact on victims, they did not suffer “the usual trauma” as they were unconscious, unlike psychological scars left on victims who were aware of the fact.

In his mitigation form, Azuar continued to deny that he had given his victims sleep-inducing drugs. During the trial last year, the court heard that he had told three different general practitioners various false accounts of his wife and child’s deaths to obtain sleeping pills. However, his two former wives and daughter are alive.

The prosecution, which had sought a jail term of at least 45 years and 24 strokes of the cane, brought up two aggravating factors: The level of premeditation exhibited by Azuar and how the sexual assaults had been aggravated through the use of sleep-inducing drugs, which could have suppressed victims’ breathing.

Azuar also did not use protection, which could have exposed his victims to sexually transmitted diseases, given his promiscuity, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Andrew Tan.

The offences took place between December 2008 and August 2009. Azuar chatted up his victims, whose ages ranged from 18 to 38, online, adopting various personas and lying about details such as his occupation.

He then met them at nightspots of his preference and spiked their alcoholic drinks with sleeping pills. When they were unconscious, he sexually assaulted, raped or molested them at a hotel before taking them home. In five of the cases, he committed the crimes in the victims’ homes.

The victims were unconscious during the act, waking up with no memory of the sexual assault. When they called him the following day, he told them they had too much to drink and passed out. He also filmed himself sexually assaulting some of the women on his mobile phones, creating 41 video clips in total.

This is not the first time Azuar has been convicted for similar offences. In 2003, he was sentenced to 72 months’ imprisonment on charges of outrage of modesty and causing hurt by administering a stupefying drug.

Azuar’s jail term, to be backdated to the day he was remanded — Aug 15, 2009 — means he will be released only when he is 65 under the Conditional Remission System.

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