SINGAPORE — A man who took a runaway girl in and ended up molesting her was sentenced to eight years’ preventive detention on Wednesday (15 January).
Ng Beng Kiong, who is divorced with two children, was also sentenced to six strokes of the cane.
The girl, then 13, would stay at Ng’s flat whenever she skipped school or ran away from home. She treated Ng as her “godfather”.
Ng, a 48-year-old cook, would send her to school and give her food, cigarettes and, at times, pocket money. But on two occasions when the girl sought solace at his one-room flat, Ng sexually assaulted her.
Preventive detention seeks to protect the public from recalcitrant offenders, who usually serve prison terms of between seven and 20 years without early release for good behaviour.
In an earlier hearing, the court heard that Ng’s criminal history spanned three decades, with offences including the possession of offensive weapons, theft, armed robbery, possession of obscene films, causing hurt, and criminal intimidation.
Ng first met the victim in 2017 while she was hanging out with some friends along Bedok North Street 3 after running away from home. He approached the group and introduced himself as “Papa” before giving them cigarettes.
The girl later saw him each time she visited the area. She also befriended Ng’s son.
The girl began to regard Ng as her godfather. The man would send her daily text messages as well as ferry her to and from school.
The girl later introduced a female schoolmate to Ng and the trio spent time at Ng’s flat, with both girls treating the home as a safe haven. Ng would provide them food, cigarettes and, occasionally, pocket money.
Giving massages to victim
A few months into this arrangement, Ng began giving unsolicited massages to the girls.
Sometime between August and September 2017, while the victim was alone with Ng in his flat, the man sat close to her and began massaging her legs over her jeans. He then pulled down her jeans and panties.
Even though the victim told Ng that she was uncomfortable, Ng sexually assaulted her. The girl later asked him to stop, and Ng complied.
However months later, Ng preyed on the girl again while she was asleep. The girl woke to find that Ng had pulled down her jeans and panties while she was asleep. She hurriedly dressed herself and Ng apologised for his actions.
The girl’s mother later found out about the incidents and a police report was lodged on 25 January last year.
Ng then went on the run after the girl told him about the police report. He scolded the girl through Instagram for her alleged betrayal and reminded her of the times he had helped her.
He also asked the girl, now 15, about what she had told the police so that he could tailor the evidence that he would give.
On 26 February last year, Ng eventually surrendered to the police, claiming in court that he had wanted to surrender after the Chinese New Year.
Ng’s previous conviction in 2006 was for a similar offence when Ng preyed on a 16-year-old girl who had moderate mental retardation. He had molested and raped the victim in a flat, and was given seven years’ corrective training.
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