Doc: 'He had control of himself'

SINGAPORE - His seven victims were aged between eight and 15 when he abused them repeatedly over three years.

But the court heard that Loh Hua Long is not a paedophile. A paedophile is an adult who is sexually attracted to children.

Court papers stated that Dr Lim Boon Leng, who first did a psychiatric examination on Loh on Nov 25 and Dec 14, 2009, said Loh did not appear to have paedophilia.

Paedophilia is recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies or behaviour involving sexual activity with a children over a period of at least six months.

Loh told Dr Lim that he had performed fellatio on his victims as advised by a ghost. He denied that he did so due to sexual urges and that he was sexually aroused during the acts.

Psychiatrist Tommy Tan also did not think that Loh was a paedophile. In his assessment, Dr Tan said that if Loh had paedophilia, he would have committed sexual offences against minors and got complaints much earlier. After all, he had been a tutor for more than 20 years.

Loh told Dr Tan that he had girlfriends in the past and denied that he was gay. He is the youngest of 12 children, and his father died when he was only five.

Last Friday, about 15 people turned up for Loh's sentencing. His lawyer, Mr Anand Nalachandran, told the court that most of the people in the gallery were Loh's family members.

The court also heard that Loh comes from a close-knit family and was a dedicated tutor.

Some of his family members have submitted written testimonials pleading for leniency.

His nephew described him as a dedicated tutor who had gone the extra mile for needy pupils, allowing them to delay payment of their fees. He said that Loh had also given him free tuition.

In both Dr Tan and Dr Lim's psychiatric evaluations of Loh, he has shown traits of schizotypal disorder.

Dr Tan said that Loh has been suffering from schizotypal disorder since he was young and his paedophilic activities, which were developed late in life, were caused by symptoms of the schizotypal disorder.

Dr Lim concluded that Loh was not of unsound mind at the time of the offences.

His encounters with a ghost which he had described were likely an entity that was secondary to his odd beliefs, fantasy-thinking and personality traits.

Although he had claimed that it was the ghost who had instructed him to perform the acts, Loh said that he had control of himself.

He also had the capacity to know right from wrong at the time of the acts and his actions were voluntary in nature.

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