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The Straits Times
Jun 28, 2021
A man with borderline intelligence was jailed for 42 months for performing sex acts on young boys.
The 21-year-old, who cannot be named as he was friends with the victims, pleaded guilty on Monday (June 28) to four charges of sexual penetration of a minor under the age of 16.
Another 28 charges were taken into consideration. These included other charges of sexual penetration, sexual exploitation of a child and sending obscene images to a child.
From mid-2018 to end-2019, the man, who was a part-time deliveryman, had performed sex acts with three victims at various locations more than 20 times, including staircase landings and a public toilet.
Two of the victims were aged 12 at the time, and the third was 13 years old.
A fourth victim was not involved in any sex acts with the man, but had received an obscene photograph from him.
The court heard that the man became friends with the victims through other mutual friends and they shared common interests such as fishing, e-biking and cycling.
The boys had agreed to the sex acts, but one of them had later cut off communication with the man.
It was not revealed in court how the man's offences had come to light.
He appeared via video in court on Monday, and was seen covering his face with his hand as details of his offences were read out in court.
A woman believed to be related to him was also seen crying in the public gallery.
Two other men, who are believed to be also related to the man, were seen with reddened eyes as the court proceedings went on.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Eugene Teh urged the court to jail the man for 45 months.
The DPP said the many offences were committed over a span of 1½ years and were not isolated incidents.
Defence lawyer Marshall Lim asked the court for a sentence of not more than 39 months.
He said his client had a borderline range of intelligence, and was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and anger management issues.
He added that the man had been exempted from national service because of this.
Mr Lim said the man had surrendered himself at a neighbourhood police centre in January last year, before he turned 21, and accepted responsibility for his actions.
District Judge Teoh Ai Lin said she noted the circumstances raised by Mr Lim, but agreed with the prosecution that deterrence needed to be the primary sentencing consideration because the offences involved four young boys, and there were many charges which had to be taken into consideration.
She backdated the sentence to Jan 15, 2020, when he was remanded.
The judge instructed that a copy of the man's psychiatric report be handed to the prison, so that he could receive appropriate care and treatment for his disorder while in jail.
For each count of sexual penetration of a minor under the age of 16, the man could have been jailed for up to 20 years and fined and caned.