Ex-teacher jailed for hugging, kissing girl

Ex-teacher jailed for hugging, kissing girl

A former Physical Education (PE) teacher was sentenced yesterday to a year in prison for hugging and kissing his 12-year-old pupil on her cheeks, forehead and lips.

He had done so on three separate occasions in 2013 at his home and the indoor sports hall of a primary school in the eastern part of Singapore.

The 37-year-old Singaporean, who cannot be named due to a gag order, had pleaded guilty last week to three charges under the Children and Young Persons Act. A further five charges were taken into consideration.

The court had heard that the man - who was married with a four-month-old daughter then - got to know the victim in 2012, when he became her PE teacher.

In July 2012, the man offered to help the girl upload pictures from a school trip onto her thumb drive and exchanged phone numbers with her.

The former teacher started texting her on a daily basis. He told the girl that he liked her more than other pupils. The man showered her with gifts, called her his "dearest" and constantly told her that he missed her.

He also told her to delete her text messages so that their relationship could be kept secret.

Once, the girl's father discovered the text messages and confronted him, but the man continued talking to the girl.

The man went on to invite the girl to his home, where they would kiss and hug. The teacher was stopped only when the girl's father complained to the school's principal, who in turn lodged a police report.

In mitigation, the man's defence lawyer Tito Isaac had quoted medical reports that stated his client was neither a paedophile nor a sexual predator.

Mr Isaac also said that his client had won the "most caring teacher award" from his school in 2012 and had committed the offences because of stress and "marital problems".

District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan was unconvinced, saying the accused had chances to "show good sense and maturity" to stop his actions, but chose to carry on.



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