Sexual predator gets 22 years' jail and 24 strokes for preying on 19 victims, including minors
To his buddies, Muhammad Anddy Faizul Mohd Eskah was a handsome and friendly person who was popular with the girls.
One of his closest friends recalled how girls would often ask him if Anddy was single.
So when news broke that he had sexually preyed on 19 girls, some of them minors, his friends were shocked.
Last Friday, Anddy, 20, was jailed for 22 years and given the maximum 24 strokes of the cane after pleading guilty to nine charges of rape, aggravated statutory rape, statutory rape and sexual assault.
Another 59 charges, including criminal intimidation and insult of modesty, were taken into consideration for sentencing.
He committed the offences from April 2015 to August 2017, when he was 15 to 18 years old.
High Court Justice Chan Seng Onn said this was "one of the most shocking and horrifying" cases of sexual crimes to come before the court and noted the victims had suffered grievously at Anddy's hands.
One underage victim got pregnant and gave birth to a girl.
Anddy's close friend, Mr Hatta Azad Khan Zulkifli, 20, told The New Paper yesterday that they had met in secondary school.
"We shared a special bond. He helped me when I was bullied and gave me his pocket money. He was friendly. When we went out, I would be the one that girls asked if Anddy was single," said Mr Hatta.
They drifted apart after they went to different Institutes of Technical Education (ITE), and Anddy started mixing with the wrong crowd.
Mr Hatta said he became hostile and often spoke in a "angry or rude tone".
Anddy was first arrested in May 2016 when he was a student at ITE College East. By then, he had claimed at least nine victims.
One of them was an 18-year-old woman with mild intellectual disability, who he sodomised after tricking her into going to his flat in Bedok North.
He usually approached his victims online and got them to send compromising photos and videos, which he later used to force them to submit to him sexually. He also used threats and physical force to get reluctant victims to submit to him.
After his release on bail in August 2016, Anddy became more secretive, Mr Hatta said.
"We had this 'bro code' - whatever is in your phone or life, you have to share," he said.
"But after he got out, he would move away whenever he was on his phone. Once when I asked him what he was hiding, he replied, 'Privacy, bro'."
Mr Hatta said he had no idea why Anddy had been arrested but heard rumours that he had done "a few things".
Another friend who declined to be named described Anddy as "mysterious and quiet".
He said: "During gatherings, he often wandered off with his phone, but I didn't expect him to commit rape."
Mr Hatta said when they met in late 2016, he urged Anddy not to get into trouble again but was given a "sarcastic look" in response.
Unbeknown to his friends, Anddy preyed on 10 more victims while out on bail.
POSED AS LAW STUDENT
One time, Anddy posed as a law student who was recruiting highly paid escorts for wealthy clients. After luring victims, he also posed as the client and got them to submit to him by deceit or force.
A 17-year-old student, whom he offered to pay $2,500 an assignment, ended up being forced to perform oral sex on him. She was also sodomised.
Instead of paying her, he stole $50 from her and filmed their encounter. When she met him again after he promised to pay her, he sexually assaulted her again. He never paid her.
Anddy was rearrested in August 2017 in an ambush and has been in remand since then.
Mr Hatta said: "When I saw the reports, I was hoping it was not him. I was shocked by the severity of his crimes."
Psychiatric assessments of Anddy found him to have anti-social personality disorder, with an escalating pattern of sexual offending suggestive of thrill-seeking.
During mitigation, Anddy's lawyer, Mr Henry Lim of G.S. Lim and Partners, told the court Anddy's parents were divorced when he was about a year old.
Both his biological father and stepfather are in jail for drug offences, and his younger brother is in reformative training.
"He was very maladjusted and rudderless in his formative years... his life started down the deep, slippery slope."
Mr Lim told TNP he was "stunned" by the number of charges against Anddy.
He said: "I expected someone mischievous, but what I saw was a striking man with a well-mannered demeanour who articulated himself quite well."
Noting Anddy was resourceful enough to find part-time jobs to earn money at a young age, he added: "It was mind-boggling why he had to do this. If he had walked down the right path, he would have achieved something with his life."