12 years' preventive detention for elderly man who sexually abused siblings

·Senior Reporter
·4-min read
A man in handcuffs behind bars. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
A man in handcuffs behind bars. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — An elderly man who sexually abused a pair of siblings in exchange for cigarettes and money over two-and-a-half years was given 12 years preventive detention on Monday (27 September).

The 64-year-old man had earlier pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual penetration of a minor under 14, while 11 similar charges were taken into consideration for his sentencing.

The man, who worked as a dishwasher, lived in the same block as the siblings, who are now aged 18 and 17. The offences took place when the siblings were aged 13.

Preventive detention, which lasts between seven and 20 years, is given to recalcitrant offenders who must serve their full sentence, with no possibility of early release for good behaviour.

Sexual favours for cigarettes

The siblings’ father knew the accused and would occasionally invite him to his flat while the siblings were present. The siblings’ parents would drink with the accused, who would also ask them for cigarettes.

The brother sometimes ran into the accused at a nearby coffeeshop and started asking him for cigarettes. In 2016, the accused invited the boy to his unit to chat. 

On the third visit, which took place before June 2016, the man played pornography on his laptop for the brother to watch. The two then smoked together before the accused asked him for a sexual favour. The boy accepted and felt disgusted after the encounter. 

The accused then gave him $20 and a few cigarettes, along with an instruction not to tell anyone about the incident.

In June or July 2016, the brother returned to the accused’s unit to ask for cigarettes, knowing that he could obtain them through sexual “services”.

The accused again played pornography for the boy before requesting a sexual act. Afterwards, the accused gave the brother $20 and a few cigarettes.

Sister abused

In May 2017, the sister was at the void deck of a HDB flat with a secondary school classmate when she saw the accused. She remembered her brother telling her that the accused had given him cigarettes, so she approached him with the same request.

The accused replied that he had no cigarettes with him and asked her to visit his unit an hour later. She went with her friend at the stated time, and the accused told her not to bring her friend the next time if she wanted cigarettes.

A few days later, the sister went back to the accused’s unit alone and they smoked together. The man then asked her to remove her shirt. The sister felt shocked, but complied at the accused’s insistence. 

The accused molested her and asked her to perform a sexual act on him. He then paid her $40 along with the instruction not to tell anyone of the incident.

When the accused invited her to visit his flat a few days later, the sister accepted. They smoked together before engaging in a sexual act. The accused then claimed that he had no money with him and promised to pay her the next time he saw her, instead giving her two cigarettes. He paid her $50 a few days later.

The sister lodged a police report on 2 November 2019, stating that she had been raped by her father. The sexual offences involving herself and her brother were uncovered during the ensuing investigations. An investigation officer lodged a police report against the accused on 6 November 2019.

The case against the father is pending before the courts. 

The prosecution previously called for the elderly man to be assessed for preventive detention for the protection of the public. Deputy Public Prosecutors Victoria Ting and Kevin Ho described the present offences as the “latest instalment in a deeply disturbing line of behaviour”.

In 1999, the accused was given a five-year corrective training stint for sexual offences against a 17-year-old boy whom he had lured to a vacant building under the pretext of giving him a job. He then threatened the boy with a lit cigarette and paid the boy $10 for his silence.

The accused also has a string of offences dating to 1972, relating to theft, drugs, possessing offensive weapons, and robbery.

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