A 49-year-old self-confessed alcoholic drank 10 cans of beer before he terrorised a 62-year-old factory operator at knifepoint and repeatedly assaulted, and raped her last year.
At the High Court on Friday (16 November), Paramjit Singh Minder Singh, who turns 50 next month, was sentenced to 18 years’ jail with 24 strokes of the cane. He pleaded guilty to one charge of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual assault by penetration.
Three other charges – for use of criminal force to outrage the modesty of a person, possession of a weapon and criminal trespass – were taken into consideration in sentencing.
Accused drank 10 cans of beer
On the morning of 10 May last year, Singh, who worked as a cleaner at 47 Ayer Rajah Crescent and was off from work, drank five cans of beer at Kembangan MRT station. He then went back to his rented room at a shophouse in Kembangan for a nap.
After waking up, he drank three more cans of beer and bought another two cans, which he drank shortly after. He then went to 28 Ayer Rajah Crescent – where he had previously worked – to relax as it was the Vesak Day holiday and he thought there would not be anyone there, the court heard.
At about 6.45pm, Singh saw a 62-year-old factory operator walking on the second floor corridor towards the female toilet. With a foldable knife with a 9cm blade in his back pocket, Singh followed her and waited outside the toilet cubicle.
When the victim opened the door and walked out, Singh pointed the knife at her throat and told her to go back in. He then locked the door.
Accused hit, threatened victim repeatedly
The victim refused to remove her clothes, and offered Singh money and her gold bracelet. But he pointed the knife at her throat, pulled her hair, and hit her head numerous times with his hand. Terrified, the victim complied.
Singh threatened her with the knife again when she refused to perform a sexual act on him.
Shortly after, he hit her head, pulled her hair, and pointed the knife at her throat from behind. She feared for her life and he raped her.
Later, when she again refused to perform a sexual act on him, he hit her head several times and pointed the knife at her throat.
Colleagues saw victim crying
Singh took a taxi to Kembangan MRT station before walking home.
The victim went back to her office where she cried near the lockers. A colleague who saw her crying very badly asked her what had happened. The colleague also saw that the victim’s scalp and cheeks were red. She went to inform their supervisor who called the police.
Later that night, Singh went back to his workplace at 28 Ayer Rajah Crescent to sleep as he had to work there the next day. The police arrested him the same night. The foldable knife was found on him.
The victim was examined at the National University Hospital. She had a cut on the back of her neck, bruises on her knee and a fresh tear on the hymen.
A psychiatric report stated that the victim sometimes thought about the ordeal but accepted that it was not her fault.
Prosecution asks for deterrence and retribution
In seeking a deterrent and retributive sentence of at least 18 years’ jail with 24 strokes of the cane, Deputy Public Prosecutor Raja Mohan pointed out the “egregious” nature of Singh’s actions.
Singh had put the victim in fear of death, compelled her with a knife, and imposed “palpable fear and terror in the victim”, said the prosecutor.
Singh, who has a string of offences dating back to when he was 17 for crimes such as theft and drug offences, also committed the rape less than seven months out of prison.
In October 2016, he was jailed two months for assault or use of criminal force on a public servant. He was also jailed for two months in May that year for being armed with weapon.
The punishments for aggravated rape and aggravated sexual assault by penetration is between eight and 20 years’ jail, with not less than 12 strokes of the cane.
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