SINGAPORE — A former Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) regular who restrained and molested two young girls at HDB flats was jailed for seven-and-a-half years on Tuesday (27 October).
Mohamed Ardlee Iriandee Mohamed Sanip, 40, a diagnosed pedophile, was also given six strokes of the cane for the offences on the two girls, one of which he pleaded guilty to, the other he claimed trial to and was convicted.
Sentencing Ardlee, District Judge John Ng noted that that Ardlee was a first offender, but that his offences were “very very serious”.
“The offences were committed on victims who were young schoolgirls they were on their way home in the afternoon after school and they were waylaid quite near or (at the) same block as home,” stated the judge.
“Punishment would have to be severe enough to reflect the condemnation of such acts committed against highly vulnerable victims.”
The judge said he had noted the psychiatrists’ opinions, but that Ardlee, who had researched primary school operating hours and how to grab his victims from behind, had premeditated the offences and was fully aware of what he was doing.
Ardlee has since been terminated from the SAF. A statement from the Ministry of Defence on Tuesday said, “The SAF holds its servicemen to high standards of discipline and integrity, and expects them to abide by the law. Those who commit offences will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
“Following his arrest in May 2018, Mohamed Ardlee was suspended by the SAF from all duties. (He) has been convicted of offences punishable under section 354A(2)(b) of the Penal Code... for causing wrongful restraint to the victims in order to commit outrage of modesty. The SAF has discharged him from service.”
While Ardless had been working as admin support in a tuition centre pending the outcome of his court case, he is no longer there as well.
His lawyer Mohamed Muzammil Mohamed had argued for a minimal three-year sentence for his client, and sought to show a causal link between Ardlee’s offences and his psychiatric condition – stress-related anxiety and depression – at the time of the offences.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sruthi Boppana submitted for nine years’ jail and seven strokes of the cane, citing how Ardlee had searched for information that would help him carry out the offences.
Researched before committing crime
Ardlee developed a sexual interest in young girls sometime in December 2017, after reading about pedophilic behaviour online and news articles about sexual offences.
He would search the internet for nude pictures of young girls and would occasionally masturbate to them. His internet browser search history on his two mobile phones showed that he looked up photographs and videos of young nude models, as well as voyeuristic videos taken in changing rooms and public showers.
Ardlee also looked up primary school timings, as well as how to muffle noise and cover people’s mouths. According to court documents, he also considered waiting near primary schools for opportunities to molest young girls.
He targeted his eight-year-old victim in this manner on 22 January 2018, ambushing her at the sixth floor of a HDB block. After grabbing her arm to prevent her from leaving, he molested her at a staircase before fleeing.
Months later, Ardlee assaulted the 10-year-old victim. During a work day, on 21 May 2018, he left his workplace at the SAFTI Military Institute still dressed in his work attire and drove to a carpark to scout for a target when he spotted his likely victim.
At 4pm, while near a Choa Chu Kang Crescent HDB block, he spotted the girl walking back from school and began following her.
After observing the girl entering the lift at her block alone, Ardlee then rushed up the stairs to the second floor. Catching the girl as she exited the lift, he pushed her towards the nearby staircase landing.
As the girl screamed, Ardlee covered her mouth with his hand. The girl continued to scream and struggle, prompting Ardlee to release her and flee down the staircase. He then returned to his workplace.
When the girl returned home, she told her aunt about the incident. A police report was lodged by the girl’s cousins, who also tried searching for Ardlee.
The police eventually managed to do track down Ardlee. CCTV footage played in court showed him heading up the staircase and fleeing down it shortly after while in his army uniform. He was arrested on 22 May 2018.
For molesting a person under the age of 14 while causing wrongful restraint, Ardlee could have been jailed between three and 10 years, and caned.
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