Jail, cane for molester who breached police warning

ST

SINGAPORE - A former safety supervisor who molested a 14-year-old boy was initially let off with a 12-month conditional warning by the police.

Eleven months later, Paul Tan Weixiang, 33, breached the warning by committing a similar offence against a 13-year-old boy.

The original charge was then resurrected by the prosecution.

On Tuesday, the unemployed man was packed off to jail for 30 months and ordered to be given three strokes of the cane for molesting the two teens.

He was also fined $3,000 for having obscene films on his mobile phone at his Bukit Panjang home on April 9 last year. He pleaded guilty to the three charges.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kenneth Chin said the 13-year-old came to know Tan last March while playing basketball at a community club.

A few days later, the teen received a text message from an unknown phone which he later found out was Tan's.

The teen received greeting messages over the next few days but did not reply.

On March 28, the victim sent a message to Tan to ask if he knew a friend he was looking for. The victim needed to find this friend to retrieve a basketball, without which he would have to compensate his classmate $50.

Tan then volunteered to pay for him. They met that evening at a shelter in Jurong West, where he groped the victim and rubbed his abdomen.

In the other case, the court heard that Tan met the 14-year-old boy at a void deck in Jurong West on April 1, 2012. Tan bought the youngster a drink and they began chatting.

Suddenly, Tan touched the teen.

District Judge Low Wee Ping said Tan's second offence, which was committed one year after the police warning, was "extremely aggravating".

Tan's lawyer, Mr Amarick Gill, said Tan had a psychiatric issue, which he had faithfully followed up with his psychologist.

"He has been fighting the demons within himself for almost a year and lost," Mr Gill said.

elena@sph.com.sg


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