Married Malaysian man jailed, caned for molesting eight-year-old neighbour in Singapore

A 48-year-old married man, who was on good terms with his neighbour, went over to his home when he was out and molested his eight-year-old daughter. ― TODAY file pic
A 48-year-old married man, who was on good terms with his neighbour, went over to his home when he was out and molested his eight-year-old daughter. ― TODAY file pic

SINGAPORE, Sept 13 — For molesting his next-door neighbour’s young daughter on two occasions and showing her pornographic material, a 48-year-old married man was sentenced to four years’ jail and nine strokes of the cane in the High Court yesterday.

The Malaysian and Singapore permanent resident pleaded guilty to two charges of aggravated molestation on Tuesday. 

He cannot be named due to a court gag order to protect the identity of the girl, who was eight years old when he committed the offences in 2017.

Prosecutors sought at least five years’ jail and nine strokes of the cane. 

In mitigation, his lawyer Peter Keith Fernando told the court that the man suffered from erectile dysfunction after a motorcycle accident two decades ago. His wife, whom he married nine years ago, could not get pregnant as a result.

“(This) affected him mentally as a spouse as he felt that he could not keep his wife happy He is determined to turn his life around and put this dark episode behind him,” Fernando added.

The accident also left the man with scars on his stomach which the girl noticed when he was naked after the second incident.

Justice Pang Khang Chau allowed the man to remain out on S$100,000 (RM303,000) bail for two weeks so that he can resign from his job and be with his family. He will begin serving his sentence on September 26.

He could have been jailed for up to five years, or fined, or caned, or any combination of the three for each charge.

What happened

The court previously heard that the man, who worked at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) at the time, and his family were on good terms with the girl’s family.

Her father often asked him to help with home repairs. He went over to their home on September 4, 2017 to fix their water heater, then left and returned on the pretext of fixing it again after her father had left the house.

He showed the girl an obscene photo and video on his mobile phone and then touched her private parts.

She pushed him out of the bedroom and tried to shut the door but relented when he said: “Please, please, please.” He then pulled down her underwear.

She pulled it back up and went to the living room to tell her aunt that the man had not fixed the water heater. He then left.

Three months later, the man told the girl — while they were near the fence separating their houses — that he wanted to go over to her home.

She told him he could do so a week later on December 1, 2017.

That day, he duped his wife into thinking he needed to complete some work at MBS. 

She accompanied him there to shop but he slipped away and went back to the girl’s home where she was alone.

In her parents’ bedroom, the girl searched for online “sex videos” on her laptop and watched them with the man for a while.

He then took off her clothes and underwear, removed his own, and touched her private parts, only stopping when she told him it was painful.

He also played a pornographic cartoon on his mobile phone for her and molested her while she was distracted. Later, he took a shower and picked his wife up from MBS.

The girl’s mother found out about the molestation a few days later.

She confronted the man on December 6, 2017 at his home and asked him to go to the police station with her, but he denied any wrongdoing. 

The man’s wife also pleaded with the mother to give her husband a chance and not report the matter.

Later that evening, he admitted to his offences. 

The next morning, the girl’s mother took her to the Marine Parade Neighbourhood Police Centre to lodge a report. — TODAY

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