A physical education teacher who hugged and kissed a 12-year-old pupil after striking up a relationship with her was sentenced to a year in jail yesterday.
The 37-year-old Singaporean would take the girl to his home or meet her in the sports hall of his primary school in eastern Singapore - and was not even deterred when her father found out about them.
The man, who cannot be named due to a gag order, last week pleaded guilty to three charges under the Children and Young Persons Act, all of which related to events that took place in 2013.
A further five charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.
The Court heard that he got to know the victim in July 2012 when he became her PE teacher.
On one occasion when he helped her to upload pictures from a school trip onto her thumbdrive, he exchanged numbers with her and began texting her on a daily basis.
He told her he liked her more than other students.
The married father of a four-year-old girl showered the pupil with gifts, called her his "dearest" and constantly told her that he missed her.
In an effort to keep their relationship secret, he told her to delete her text messages.
When the girl's father discovered them and confronted him, he continued with the relationship.
He would go on to invite the girl into his home, where they would hug and kiss on the forehead and lips though they did not have sex.
The teacher 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 quoted medical reports that stated his client was neither a paedophile nor a sexual predator.
He also said his client had been given the "most caring teacher award" from his school in 2012, and had committed those offences because of stress and "marital problems".
But 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.
He added: "It is always a tragedy when a teacher defiles and corrupts the very people whom they were supposed to nurture and guide."
This article was first published on April 2, 2015.
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