Jail, caning for robber who targeted girls

SINGAPORE - A waiter who targeted teenage girls to rob and molest, as he believed they were "easy" victims, was sentenced to six years in jail and 20 strokes of the cane on Tuesday.

Kang Boon Khoon, 33, chose his Chua Chu Kang neighbourhood to commit his offences so that he could flee to his home easily.

But his crime spree ended after he was caught loitering in the neighbourhood at 6am on Aug 24 last year with a 15cm knife.

He pleaded guilty to robbing and molesting a 19-year-old on Aug 11 last year and to robbing a 16-year-old on Aug 21.

The charges for loitering with the intention of committing the offences while being armed with a knife were taken into consideration by the judge in sentencing.

Assistant Public Prosecutor Raja Mohan said that investigations revealed that Kang would follow his victims into lifts and commit the offences as they were about to step out.

Pleading for a lenient sentence, defence counsel Cheng Kim Kuan said that the total value of items stolen by his client was only $520 and that this included cash and a mobile phone.

The lawyer also said that Kang was in a "deeply unhappy marriage", with his wife holding the purse strings tightly.

Before passing sentence, District Judge Low Wee Ping said that it was difficult for the court to understand why Kang had committed such serious offences because his criminal records did not show him as "a man of violence".

His previous convictions were for theft and sex with a minor in 2009.

The maximum penalty for robbing the 19-year-old student is a 14-year jail term and 24 strokes of the cane.

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