A SERIAL molester who touched a 10-year-old boy living near him was jailed for a year and eight months yesterday.
Teo Koon Tian, 57, had been convicted of a similar offence against a 13-year-old boy in 2004, and sentenced to 15 months in jail plus nine strokes of the cane then.
This time, he was spared the cane because of his age.
But District Judge Siva Shanmugam highlighted the seriousness of the latest incident because of the significant age disparity, the persistent nature of the molest and how he had committed the offence in a public place near the boy's home.
On July 18 this year, Teo had approached the boy as he played with his mobile phone at a void deck table in Yishun and told him he was "cute and handsome", and twice touched him on the cheeks.
Although the boy ignored him, he sat down next to him and rubbed his thigh repeatedly, despite the victim's attempts to push his hands away.
Teo walked away but was arrested after the boy's family later saw him loitering in the same area, while on their way to the police station to make a report.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Joshua Lim, referring to Teo's previous conviction, said: "This is a case of 'once bitten, not shy'."
The maximum penalty for outraging the modesty of a person under the age of 14 is a jail term of five years, caning and a fine.
This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.