Man rapes woman after failing to rob her

This article is more than 12 months old

A 25-year-old man raped a 42-year-old cleaner at knife point in a back alley in Serangoon Gardens after she thwarted his attempt to rob her, the High Court heard yesterday.

Singaporean Kelvin Singh pleaded guilty to a charge of rape and two charges of sexual assault by penetration for the offences that took place past midnight on Jan 13 last year.

Four other charges, of attempted robbery, abduction, aggravated outrage of modesty and criminal intimidation, will be taken into consideration when he is sentenced at a later date. He faces between eight and 20 years' jail and at least 12 strokes of the cane for each charge of rape and sexual assault.

The court heard that Singh, who had absconded from the Reformative Training Centre at the time, was cycling in the vicinity of Serangoon Gardens, looking for victims to rob when he spotted the woman.

The Chinese national, who cannot be named due to a court order, was walking her usual route home after work. Singh then followed her into a back alley off Worthing Road near Kensington Park Condominium, got off his bicycle and ran towards her, brandishing a Swiss army knife.

Suspecting that he was going to rob her, the woman threw her handbag, which contain about $800, over the fence into the compound of a house.

When Singh pointed his knife at her and demanded money, she pointed at the house and told him "no money" in English.

Angered, Singh decided to have sex with her.

He signalled for her to follow him to the end of the alley, where he forced her to perform oral sex on him and raped her after threatening her with the knife.

The woman did as she was told out of fear.

After the assault, Singh used his right thumb to make a slitting gesture across his own throat, and warned her not to call the police, and cycled off.

The woman then phoned her boyfriend. When the 38-year-old driver arrived, the woman told him about the foiled robbery but was too embarrassed to mention the sexual assault.

The boyfriend called the police to report the attempted robbery. Three days later, a member of the public alerted the police - who had asked residents to come forward with information - after spotting Singh cycling around Tavistock Avenue Park.

When police officers arrived, Singh dropped his bicycle and fled on foot. He boarded a taxi along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 but was arrested after a brief chase.

An Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist said Singh has anti-social and narcissistic personality traits but did not suffer from any major mental illness.

The report added that he did not appear to show genuine remorse for his actions and was at risk of committing similar sexual or violent offences in future.