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Judicial CP - April 2002
Straits Times, Singapore, 4 April 2002
Jail and cane for undergrad who molested 13-year-old
A FIRST-YEAR undergraduate was given a stiff 15-month jail term and three strokes of the cane yesterday for molesting a 13-year-old, in a move by the courts to warn those who prey on under-16s.
Statistics produced in court showed that there were 62 teenage molest victims between last November and January this year.
Molestations of under-16s formed 20 per cent, or 17 out of 79 molest cases, last November. This went up to 31 per cent, or 28 out of 91 cases, in January.
District Judge Wong Keen Onn noted these figures when he sentenced Chong Weien, 21, a National University of Singapore (NUS) student.
Chong, a part-time drum coach at a secondary school, was alone with the 13-year-old girl when he made her masturbate him.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohamed Nasser Ismail said Chong had planned the assault and abused his position as an instructor to satisfy his sexual urges.
Agreeing, the judge said Chong, a former student of Raffles Institution and Raffles Junior College, had taken advantage of his position of authority and trust.
'It is in the public interest that a stiff sentence be meted out to reflect the gravity of the offences,' he said.
A second charge involving a 14-year-old was taken into consideration.
Chong's lawyer, Mr Cheong Aik Chye, had earlier described his client as a 'bright young man' selected to take part in a scholar programme in NUS Arts faculty.
An accomplished percussionist, Chong was a member of the award-winning Singapore Wind Symphony.
He could have been jailed for up to two years, caned and fined up to $10,000.
Copyright @ 2002 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
Straits Times, Singapore, 5 April 2002
Maid's boyfriend threatened to blow up employer's car
Rejected by the domestic helper, he told her employer to pay him $2,000 or he would blow up her husband's carBy Wong Sher Maine
BANGLADESHI construction worker Khoka Tazamalbapari, 27, was hurt and furious.
His Indonesian girlfriend, a 27-year-old maid, had just dumped him, and this after he had given her gifts and money worth a total of about $1,000.
He wanted his money back - and more.
So he threatened, not his girlfriend, but her employer, calling the 43-year-old accounts executive, Madam Ang Hong Choo, at about 7.30 pm on Feb 6 and demanding that she pay him $2,000.
He told her that her maid of six months, Miss Sustriyani Untung Supardi, owed him that amount.
If she did not give him the money, he added, he would blow up her husband's car.
In their Pasir Ris flat, Madam Ang's husband, Mr Low Hock Seng, 45, picked up another telephone in their home when the call was made, and heard Khoka making the threat.
Said Madam Ang, who was in court for Khoka's case yesterday: 'I was very frightened. I didn't know what to do when I picked up the call.'
She was also afraid for her daughter, eight, and son, 10, and immediately called the police to tell them what had happened.
The next day, she asked her husband, who is self- employed, to make sure he let the car engine run for a while after switching it on, before he got into the vehicle.
Two days after Khoka made the call, he was arrested when the maid arranged to meet him in Geylang.
The woman has since left her job with the family.
Besides extortion, Khoka was charged with staying longer than the period stated on his work permit, which expired on Jan 22.
In court yesterday, the man, who was not represented by a lawyer, pleaded guilty and told the judge that 'the only mistake' he had made was to 'fall in love with the maid'.
'I loved her with all my heart and even promised to marry her,' he said, adding that he had dated her for about six months.
But their relationship fell apart when she started going out with his friend.
In mitigation, he said that he had come here in 1997 because he had to support his aged parents, six sisters and two brothers in India.
However, when sentencing him, District Judge Lee Poh Choo told Khoka: 'You come here to work and not to commit offences.'
She sentenced him to two years' jail and three strokes of the cane.
Outside the court, Madam Ang, who mentioned that she had been living in fear and having sleepless nights despite Khoka's arrest nearly two months ago, said: 'I feel more relieved.'
Straits Times, Singapore, 5 April 2002
Gang member jailed for his part in attack
FROM the time he turned 13, Rahim Raman Shah, 22, has been in and out of jail for offences ranging from drug consumption to gang robbery to theft.
But yesterday, he faced his harshest punishment yet: a jail term of six years and 10 months, and eight strokes of the cane.
He had pleaded guilty to being part of an unlawful assembly which led to a man's death in Oct 2000, having sex with an underage girl and distributing obscene VCDs.
On Oct 11 that year, he and nine other youths confronted Mr Hamzir Hamin, 41, at East Coast Park and injured him so badly that he died four days later from head injuries.
Though Rahim was not one of those who clobbered the man with a metal rod and wooden poles, he was part of the gang which had gathered at East Coast Park to cause grievous hurt to Mr Hamzir, who was camping there.
After the incident, Rahim went on the run and evaded the police for nearly a year.
He was nabbed in September last year while hawking illegal obscene VCDs. The unemployed youth also had sex with a 14-year-old girl in a Geylang hotel in the same month.
The gang's ringleader, Balachandran Bernard, 20, was sentenced in the High Court in January to 18 years' jail and the maximum 24 strokes of the cane for the attack on Mr Hamzir and for another attack he ordered, which resulted in the death of another man, Mr Roslan Mohamed.
Three members of the gang are still at large.
Straits Times, Singapore, 6 April 2002
Jail and cane for extorting from teen
Man got student to apply for cell phone line for him, before extorting $2,000 from her within a week
AFTER chatting with a polytechnic student on the Internet, a freelance renovation contractor met and persuaded her to apply for a mobile-phone line in her name.
Then, he got nasty.
He demanded money from her and threatened to harm her and her family if she did not pay up.
She did, forking out $2,000 in less than a week before her father found out. They reported Kelvin Sng Beng Hwee, 21, to the police.
Yesterday, he was sentenced to six years' jail and nine strokes of the cane after pleading guilty to three extortion charges.
Sng persuaded the teenager to apply for a mobile-phone line for him in her name, claiming he had outstanding bills and could not apply for one himself.
On Feb 5, he sent her a message via the short message service (SMS), asking for a new mobile phone or he would chalk up phone bills of $3,000.
Afraid, she gave him $400 the next day at Bedok Bus Interchange to buy the phone.
Two days later, he extorted $200 from her using the same threat.
That evening, he demanded $400, and threatened to harass her if she did not pay.
She paid him the next day, on Feb 9, out of fear.
That same evening, Sng again demanded $400 to pay bookies he owed money to, threatening to give them her address if she didn't pay.
The teenager paid it the following day.
On Feb 10, he again demanded $600 from her, saying he would harm her and her family.
Then, her father found out.
When he confronted her about her mother's dwindling bank account, the polytechnic student told him the truth.
While making a police report at Chai Chee Neighbourhood Police Post on Feb 11, Sng messaged her, demanding $2,000.
He turned up the next day at the bus interchange and was nabbed by the police after she handed him $100.
District Judge Adrian Soon Kim Kwee, who considered three other similar charges, agreed with Assistant Public Prosecutor Robert Tan that Sng had victimised the student, and had shown himself to be greedy and merciless.
The judge also told the youth that he had committed very serious and aggravating offences, and had not learnt his lesson.
Straits Times, Singapore, 23 April 2002
Jail and cane for brutal attack on youth on bus
LAST December, 16 teenagers were out for blood at the MacPherson estate, hunting down and beating a 15-year-old who had quarrelled with one of them.
Yesterday, five of them sat meekly in court as District Judge Teoh Ai Lin gave some of them stiff sentences to curb the 'alarming increase' in rioting cases.
One of them sobbed while the others hugged their tearful parents, who had thronged the dock.
Coffeeshop assistant Wu Jin Chang, 17, and hawker assistant Tan Guan Da, 18, were each given three years in jail and six strokes of the cane.
Their punishment was stiffer than was given to the others because more serious charges were slapped on them for using weapons.
Tan Teck Chye, 16, jobless, was jailed 30 months and would be given three strokes of the cane, while student Steven Ang Kun Yee, 16, and national serviceman Simon Lee, 19, would be considered for reformative training.
On Dec 5, the 16 youths, armed with two knives and a hammer, chased the victim and his four friends from a community centre to a bus, which they boarded.
On the bus, they assaulted the victim, who had head injuries and was warded in hospital for four days, and his friends.
Judge Teoh, in sentencing them, said: 'What I find most appalling is that you aggressively and relentlessly pursued your outnumbered victims.'
Ten others in the group, all between 14 and 15, have been dealt with. Some are in the Singapore Boys' Home, while the others have been put on 24 to 34 months' probation.
Winston Lee Wei Zheng, 16, will be sentenced on May 9.
After sentencing, more than 30 family members and friends of the five teenagers stayed for tearful exchanges.
Sobbing mothers told the youths to behave themselves.
Tan Guan Da's mother, a hawker assistant in her 40s, said: 'I'm very sad. My son had aspired to be a policeman. I don't think that's possible now.'
Copyright @ 2002 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
Straits Times, Singapore, 26 April 2002
Agency boss touched maid
THE owner of a maid agency took a Filipino maid into his bedroom and touched her breast while she was under his care.
Koh Gim Phiaw, 29, was at his Lemon Avenue home, off Sixth Avenue, on April 12 last year when he told the 21-year-old he wanted to talk to her in his room.
While talking to her, the man grabbed her left breast.
The maid, who had arrived in Singapore less than three weeks earlier, then left the room.
On the evening of June 18 that year, a passerby saw her at a bus stop on Yio Chu Kang Road, where she was calling out for help.
He called the police.
The maid had apparently been ordered out of Koh's car.
Yesterday, Koh admitted outraging the woman's modesty and was sentenced to 12 months in jail and three strokes of the cane.
He was allowed to defer his sentence until May 16, so that he could settle some personal matters.
A second similar charge involving a 29-year-old Filipino maid was taken into consideration.
In mitigation, Mr R.S. Bajwa said his client was remorseful and had apologised to both complainants.
He had also given each of them $2,000 and an air ticket to the Philippines.
Straits Times, Singapore, 27 April 2002
Man posed as cop and sexually assaulted 31 girls
He gets 16 years' jail, six strokes of cane for sex attacks
By Alethea Lim
FOR three years, a sex fiend masqueraded as a police officer and sexually attacked 31 young girls, aged between nine and 18, in broad daylight.
Pest-control officer David Tan Tian Kwee, 40, wore sunglasses, a jockey cap bearing the words 'Traffic Police' and carried a keychain on his waist pouch that had the word 'police' when he prowled several Housing Board estates looking for potential prey.
To make his act even more convincing, the father of one also pretended to talk to 'fellow police officers' on his Nokia mobile phone while he was with his victims.
Tan would ask the girls if they knew anyone who smoked and gambled in the area.
Then, he would ask them to follow him to a staircase landing of a block of flats where he made them perform oral sex on him.
He attacked two of the victims, aged 10 and 11, in this manner.
Other times, he molested the girls on the pretext of conducting a body search for drugs or cigarettes.
Tan's reign of terror went on from Sept 26, 1998, to Oct 19 last year, in Tampines, Hougang, Sims Drive, New Upper Changi Road, Bedok North, Geylang East, Pasir Ris Drive and Upper Aljunied Road.
His offences came to light when one of his victims reported him to the police last July.
Three months later, in October, he was nabbed.
Yesterday, Tan faced 72 charges in the High Court and pleaded guilty to 11 - two for making his victims perform oral sex on him, two for impersonation, four for outrage of modesty and three offences under the Films Act.
Pressing for a deterrent sentence, Deputy Public Prosecutors Wong Kok Weng and Francis Ng argued that Tan had preyed on young girls who were vulnerable and 'easily susceptible' to his 'brand of deception'.
Justice M.P.H. Rubin then sentenced Tan, who also has previous convictions for molestation and impersonation in 1982, to 16 years' jail and six strokes of the cane plus a $4,600 fine.
'If not for your arrest and detention, it might well be that you will still be on the spree terrorising and violating young children without regard to the consequences,' said the judge.
He noted that Tan's lawyer, Mr Raymond Lye, said his client was remorseful for his 'sordid acts'.
'... but I can't ignore the fact that the acts committed by you were of a vile and base nature that calls out for a fitting deterrence. Society ought to be effectively protected against mindless creatures like you,' said the judge.
Station Inspector Adam Gazari, who was in charge of the case, told The Straits Times that Tan's victims were unable to provide a positive identification of him, except that he wore a cap and sunglasses.
But after a search through several police reports which surfaced after the first was made last July, another vital clue came up. That was the keychain which Tan also hung around his waist pouch.
For three months, between July and October last year, the team kept a look out for Tan in areas where he had committed his crimes.
Then, on Oct 19, at a carpark at Block 124, Upper Aljunied Road, two officers spotted Tan. He tried to bolt, but he did not get far.
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