“He is a danger to young girls.”
Those were the words of District Judge Imran Abdul Hamid, who sentenced 64-year-old Bujang Mahmood to 37 months’ imprisonment on Tuesday (19 September) after finding him guilty on two charges of outraging the modesty of two girls aged 11 and seven.
A third charge of outraging the modesty of a four-year-old girl was also taken into consideration. All the victims cannot be named to protect their identity.
The court heard that on 3 May 2016, Bujang, who lives in Yishun Central, had approached his first victim at a badminton court in the area. The 11-year-old was hanging out there with her friends after school.
Bujang sat beside her and placed his arm around her shoulder. He then asked the girl and her friends some questions, to which they answered out of respect as he was an elderly man.
The girl also mentioned that she stays in Johor Bahru and was waiting for her grandfather to fetch her home. Bujang left and returned 10 minutes later to tell the girl that he lived in Johor Bahru too and asked her to follow him back by taxi.
While making the offer, he placed his right arm across the girl’s shoulder and rubbed the inside of her left upper thigh. He also touched her private parts over her shorts. The girl was shocked by Bujang’s actions, which lasted several seconds, and she left to rejoin her friends.
Bujang then left the group but later returned once more to ask the girl to go back to Johor Bahru with him. Terrified, the girl did not answer and left the badminton court along with her friends.
They then made a police report at the Yishun North Neighbourhood Police Centre. Bujang was arrested on the same day and subsequently released on station bail.
While out on bail, Bujang committed the same offence a month later in June 2016.
He had approached two girls, aged seven and four, outside a minimart at Yishun Central and bought them snacks. While the girls were eating the snacks, Bujang then placed his hand underneath the seven-year-old’s t-shirt and touched her chest.
The act frightened the girl to the point that she did not tell her mother what happened when she returned home.
The incident came to light only about a week later when the girls ran out from the same minimart after spotting Bujang there, which led to the victim’s mother questioning the minimart storekeeper about what happened. A police report was then made.
Accused ‘attracted to pre-pubescent girls’
A psychiatric report from the Institute of Mental Health said that the Bujang “suffers from a paedophilic interest”, which is a form of “socially-deviant behaviour where the accused has voluntarily acted upon his sexual urges/attraction” towards pre-pubescent girls.
The same report also asserted that Bujang was not of unsound mind, and does not suffer from any intellectual disability.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Chee Ee Ling had initially sought a 24-month sentence with three strokes of the cane for each charge. She said that Bujang has “a moderate to high rate of re-offending”, and that it was clear that Bujang has shown pre-meditation in choosing his victims.
Bujang, who has been in remand since 18 April this year, will have his sentence backdated.
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