Singapore

Man who molested 8-year-old neighbour gets jail, caning

A 47-year-old who showed pornographic videos to his eight-year-old neighbour and molested her twice in three months was yesterday sentenced to four years' jail and nine strokes of the cane.

The man, who is married with no children, pleaded guilty to two charges of aggravated molestation on Tuesday, with two charges of showing obscene objects to the victim taken into consideration.

Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Marshall Lim described the man's actions as wicked, premeditated and an abuse of trust.

There was great trust between the family of the man's wife and the victim's family, who have been next-door neighbours since the 1980s, and this trust extended to the man when he moved in with his wife's family, said the DPP.

The DPP argued that showing obscene images to the girl was an "overt act of sexual grooming".

He sought five years' jail and nine strokes of the cane.

Defence counsel Peter Fernando conceded it was an aggravating factor to show obscene images to the girl, but he argued that it was a gross exaggeration to say it was tantamount to sexual grooming.

Mr Fernando said the victim had, on multiple occasions, on her own accord and in privacy, viewed sexual content using her father's laptop. He said there was no trauma to the victim arising from the offences.

The lawyer sought a two-year jail term and added that his client and his wife are sorry for what he did to the victim.

In sentencing, Justice Pang Khang Chau noted the young age of the victim and the abuse of trust, given the close relationship between the two families.

He agreed with the prosecution that the acts were premeditated rather than opportunistic, as argued by the defence.

COURT & CRIME