POSING as a teacher, Quek Yah Chiang befriended a special needs student as she waited for the train after school in 2012, and took her to a secluded staircase landing near Paya Lebar MRT station.
After performing obscene acts on the 13-year-old and making her promise not to tell anyone, he led her back to the station and left after giving her $4 for food.
Yesterday, Quek, 66, who has a history of sexual offences against youngsters dating back to 1985, was sentenced to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of committing an obscene act with a child.
Four people understood to be Quek's family members were in court for his sentencing.
When approached afterwards, an elderly woman believed to be Quek's sister said in Mandarin that she was not satisfied with the decision.
"He did not kill anybody," she said.
The court earlier heard that around 4pm on May 2, 2012, the then manager at a maid agency had led his victim, who is now 16 years old, to the second basement level of the Singapore Post Centre, next to Paya Lebar MRT station.
The girl, who has moderate mental retardation, was scared and stayed still as he carried out the obscene acts.
Quek made the victim promise to keep quiet about what had happened, but she told her family after reaching home and a police report was lodged later that day.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Siti Adrianni Marhain had called for Quek to be jailed for more than nine months on each of his three charges.
She said Quek had targeted a girl who was clearly suffering from a mental impairment, and had "brazenly" approached her in a public place when she was wearing her school uniform.
She added that Quek had tried to ensure the girl's silence.
But Quek's lawyer, Mr Peter Fernando, urged the court to give his client a three-month jail term. He said his client had been suffering from depression at the time.
Together with sources of stress including financial difficulties, the depression had led Quek to commit acts at odds with a character "ordinarily empathetic and considerate of others", Mr Fernando said.
He added that his client is single, lives alone in a rented room and is now unemployed.
Quek had previous convictions for committing acts of gross indecency with other males. These were done on three boys, then aged 17, 16 and 11, between 1985 and 1995.
He could have been jailed for up to five years and fined up to $10,000 on each count of committing an obscene act with a child.
This article was first published on October 25, 2014.
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