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The Straits Times, Singapore, 28 July 2011, p.B13
Jail, cane for Burger King worker in armed robbery
By Elena Chong
A BURGER King assistant manager pulled off a $6,000 armed robbery at one of the fast food chain's restaurants.
Charlie Cabo Perez (right) later tried to do it again at another branch but fled empty handed when he suspected that one of the staff had called the police.
The 32-year-old Filipino -- who also misappropriated $800 of his employer's money -- was yesterday sentenced to five years in jail and 24 strokes of the cane.
Perez started off by robbing the chain's Esplanade Xchange branch on April 16, the court heard.
He turned up just before closing time posing as a building maintenance officer, armed himself with a bread knife, then walked up to assistant manager Vito Lorielyn Mesajon. He asked her to read three words he had written by hand in a book: "Open the safe".
The robber then took $6,056 and tied up the victim, taping her mouth and legs.
A month and a half later, Perez tried to stage another armed robbery at the Burger King in International Plaza.
Assistant Public Prosecutor Charlene Yang said he got a cashier in an arm lock and then led her to the kitchen at knifepoint.
He told the manager, Mr Dass Subramaniam, 28, to open the safe.
Just then, the cashier saw a colleague about to report for duty and signalled to her not to enter and to call the police.
When Perez saw this, he got worried and fled towards Tanjong Pagar MRT station.
He next removed his surgical mask and cap and changed into a black jacket and trousers before boarding a train.
Later that day, he headed to Changi Airport, where he was arrested.
Perez pleaded guilty to armed robbery, attempted armed robbery and misappropriating money from the branch where he worked, at the National University of Singapore.
He apologised to the people of Singapore and said he regretted his actions.
He had become depressed after separating from his wife and had to support his four-year-old autistic daughter.
Ms Yang said that if Perez had succeeded in the robbery in the central business district, he would have caused great public disquiet and tarnished Singapore's image.
The Straits Times, Singapore, 30 July 2011
Poly student, ex-commando, rapist
Man who raped girl, 13, in her home gets 13 years and 15 strokes
By Selina Lum
A POLYTECHNIC student aged 23 befriended a 13-year-old secondary schoolgirl through a "making friends" column in a teen magazine -- and began pursuing her along a decidedly sexual tack.
She told him she had a boyfriend and was not interested, but Wang Jianbin did not let this stop him.
He threatened his way into meeting her in her home, where he raped her in her room while her brother was in the living room with his piano teacher.
Yesterday, High Court judge Chan Seng Onn dealt the now 24-year-old a 13-year jail term, and ordered him to be given 15 strokes of the cane.
Wang pleaded guilty to rape; a charge each of criminal intimidation and sexual assault were taken into consideration.
The sentence was heavier than that sought by the prosecution, which had asked the court to give him at least 10 years' jail and six strokes of the cane.
Justice Chan said he "heard" Wang's request through his lawyer that he be given more strokes of the cane in exchange for a shorter prison sentence, so he could come out to be with his mother and 10-year-old sister. The judge did not say whether the sentence factored this in.
Wang came here from China with his family in 1997, became a citizen in 2005, and did national service as a commando.
He got to know the girl, who cannot be named, in October 2009. They started chatting through instant messaging and later via text messages and phone calls.
The girl felt uncomfortable with the sexual questions he asked her, such as the colour of her underwear and whether she had a boyfriend she had sex with.
When he began pressing her for a meeting through text messages, she rebuffed him, saying she was in a sexual relationship with her boyfriend and was not interested in meeting him.
On Dec 2, while she had a 17-year-old male friend visiting her in her home, Wang plied her with messages saying he wanted to visit her.
When she turned him down, the bullying and blackmailing began: He threatened to "find trouble" with her friend if she did not give him her address.
Wang was undaunted even when the girl gave the phone to her friend and asked him to pose as her father to warn Wang against harassing her. The friend, sensing trouble ahead, called another boy, aged 18, to join them at her home.
Wang then stepped up his threats. He told the girl he already had her address and that he would bring his gang to "mess up" her home and tell her parents that she had sex with her boyfriend.
The girl asked the two boys to hide in her mother's room and to call for help if she could not handle Wang.
When Wang arrived, she took him to her room as he demanded, believing he would not do anything to her with her brother and his piano teacher in the flat.
He shut the bedroom door and began violating her. At this point, the 18-year-old entered the room, armed with a martial arts spear belonging to the girl's brother, but was chased out of the room after a struggle.
As her friends ran for help, Wang raped her. He was there when the boys returned with civil defence officers; the police arrived soon after and arrested him.
Yesterday, his divorced parents were in court. His mother broke down in tears after the sentencing. His father told reporters the sentence was stiffer than the 10 years asked for by the prosecution and declined further comment.
The punishment for rape is up to 20 years' jail and caning or a fine.
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