A jobless man lured a five-year-old girl away from a Housing Board void deck when her family were not looking by promising to get her ice cream.
Chin Wei Foong then took her to another void deck where he sexually assaulted her - but police caught him as he was taking the girl back after her grandmother raised the alarm.
The 54-year-old was jailed for eight years yesterday after pleading guilty to sexually penetrating the child.
The Malaysian victim had arrived in Singapore with her mother and grandmother on March 9 this year and her ordeal began that morning after they arrived at her aunt's flat in Tampines.
She went to a recycling event at another block with her relatives where Chin, who lives nearby, spotted the girl sitting at the void deck pulling ring tabs from drink cans. He watched her for half an hour before approaching her and asking if she wanted ice cream.
She agreed and followed him to a void deck about 10 minutes away, where he sat on a bench and told her to stand in front of him. She remained silent as he touched her genitals.
Asking the court for a jail term of six to eight years, Deputy Public Prosecutor Ryan David Lim said Chin had exploited the girl's tender age and vulnerability by using ice cream as bait to get her alone.
He added that the man had calculated and planned his actions.
According to a psychiatric report, Chin has "strong features of paedophilic sexual orientation" and poses a "significant risk of reoffending", though he does not yet meet the diagnostic criteria for paedophilia.
However, he was also suffering from "adjustment reaction with disorder of mood and conduct" and "anxious-avoidant personality traits".
His mental health issues had a "causal link" with his behaviour, the report said.
DPP Lim said the prosecution had considered Chin's condition before proceeding with the charge against him. Chin, who had no previous convictions, also admitted to kidnapping the girl from her guardian, and an unrelated charge of molesting a 10-year-old girl by slapping her buttocks.
He could have been jailed for up to 20 years and fined. He cannot be caned as he is over 50.
This article was first published on August 16, 2014.
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