SINGAPORE: The High Court on Wednesday (Nov 15) sentenced a former primary school’s administrative employee to a jail term of 18 years for sexually abusing three young brothers between 2009 and 2013.
The 53-year-old diagnosed paedophile befriended and later sexually abused the eldest brother in 2009 when he was 11.
The victim was a student of the school where the man was first employed as a security guard and later, an operations support assistant.
While the victim eventually stopped interacting with him after going on to secondary school, the man became close to his parents and his two younger brothers.
On one occasion in early 2013, he brought the two younger brothers, aged 12 and 13, back to their home, and performed obscene acts on them. No one else was home at the time.
In 2012, the father of three forced the second brother to perform oral sex on him in a toilet at a community club.
The abuse came to light when the man sent the victims’ mother a message in March 2013, asking if the second brother could join him for an outing. The boy had kept quiet after she showed him the message.
Subsequently, all three brothers told her about the encounters.
The man was earlier charged with 36 offences, and pleaded guilty to five on Sep 29, 2016. They included one count of aggravated sexual assault by penetration, one count of sexual penetration of a minor and three counts of committing an indecent act with a child.
In total, 31 charges were taken into consideration for sentencing, including 29 similar sexual assault offences and two others under the Films Act, one of which was for possessing obscene films.
The man is no longer liable for caning as he is aged above 50.
In asking for a sentence of at least 18 years imprisonment, the prosecution argued that the man had abused his position as a school employee, and “exhibited no qualms in flagrantly abusing” the victims’ and their parents’ trust, despite having children of his own.
The victims’ parents had thought he was genuinely concerned for their welfare, and were grateful for his help in caring for their children as they both worked very long hours.
He had also visited them at home as well as bought gifts, such as shoes and clothing, and took them for outings and meals.
The diagnosed paedophile also had a moderate – 15 to 20 per cent – risk of offending, court documents showed.
The sentence, therefore, “must adequately account for these factors and degree of depravity in each of his offences,” said the prosecution.
In mitigation, the man's lawyer, Mr Remy Choo, had asked for 16 years' jail.
He asked the court to consider the “adverse impact of a long imprisonment period” on his client’s children.
A letter by the man’s daughter pleading for leniency was submitted.
In it, the 16-year-old detailed her mother’s struggle with finances and the choice to keep her brothers in the dark about the truth of their father’s absence.
"My brothers have been exhibiting behaviours like speaking to the television and themselves as a way to cope with his sudden absence … About a month ago, I was also diagnosed with depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder that I also had to deal with in the past four years,” she wrote.