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www.corpun.com   :  Archive   :  2008   :  SG Judicial Dec 2008

-- THE ARCHIVE --


SINGAPORE

Judicial CP - December 2008



Corpun file 20813

masthead

The Straits Times, Singapore, 4 December 2008

Teen rape case: Jail and cane for 2

Girl drunk after party game as man molested her and his friend raped her

By Sujin Thomas

AFTER becoming so drunk at a friend's party last September that she passed out, a 19-year-old girl was molested by one man and raped by another.

When she awoke later, the girl burst into tears and told her boyfriend, who had been in the next room, what had happened.

She was then taken to Changi General Hospital for a check-up and a police report was lodged.

Yesterday, the two men, now both 22, were sentenced in a district court. They cannot be named in order to protect the identity of the victim.

According to court documents, the girl had gone to a party on Sept 21, at a friend's flat, where she planned to meet her boyfriend, who was also invited.

The couple kept to themselves at first. It was only later that they joined the host and two of his friends for a card game in which the loser of each round had to drink from a glass of whisky.

The girl soon became drunk and, at her boyfriend's suggestion, went to a bedroom to sleep.

In the wee hours of the following morning, the two men with whom the girl and her boyfriend had played cards entered the bedroom to look for a missing mobile phone earpiece.

They carried out their acts after closing the door behind them.

Tears streamed down both men's faces yesterday as they stood together in the dock.

The man who was found guilty of molesting the girl received 10 months' jail and three strokes of the cane. He could have been jailed for up to two years and received more strokes of the cane.

The man's lawyer, Mr Tan Cheow Hung, had urged the court to consider giving his client 'brownie points' for telling the other man who raped her to stop what he was doing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Kiat Pheng stressed that he should not be given a lesser punishment just because he had stopped the other man. 'The hurt had already been done to the victim,' he said.

The rapist was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in jail and six strokes of the cane. He could have been jailed for up to 10 years and received more strokes of the cane.

Pleading for leniency, Mr S.S. Dhillon, the lawyer representing the rapist, told the court that his client, who is married with two children, stopped what he was doing 'on his own accord'.

However, District Judge Jill Tan said that he had initiated the lewd acts against the victim.

'What began as inappropriate physical contact with her progressed to rape, an undeniably abhorrent offence,' said Judge Tan.

Copyright 2007 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.

press cutting




Corpun file 20812

masthead

The Straits Times, Singapore, 5 December 2008

Youth gets jail, cane for molesting two girls

He attacked girls, aged 8 and 9, in separate incidents inside HDB lifts in Choa Chu Kang

By Sujin Thomas

Tan Boon Ann
STILL A RISK
'He always goes ahead with what's on his mind. I believe he's still a problem.'
Tan Boon Ann's mother, on her son (above)

GRABBING and gagging one girl with his bare hands, forcing another to undress, the teenager preyed on young girls in lifts in Choa Chu Kang twice in October.

Yesterday, 19-year-old chef Tan Boon Ann pleaded guilty to outraging the modesty of two girls in a district court.

The girls cannot be named in order to protect their identities.

He was sentenced to four years in jail and six strokes of the cane.

The court heard that on Oct 6, an eight-year-old girl entered a lift at a Housing Board (HDB) block together with Tan, and pressed the button for the seventh floor. Tan pressed the button for the 11th floor.

While the lift was ascending, Tan grabbed the girl on her shoulder and told her not to shout.

When the lift reached the seventh floor, he pulled the girl close to him and covered her mouth with his hands, to prevent her from calling for help or screaming. He also slapped her on her cheek, the court heard.

The lift door closed and continued on to the 11th floor where the girl managed to break free and escape.

She told her mother about the incident and a police report was lodged.

Later that month, Tan preyed on another victim – a nine-year-old girl.

On Oct 28, the girl entered a lift at an HDB block with Tan and pressed the button for the third floor.

When the lift reached her floor, Tan pulled out a knife and pointed it at her, ordering her to be quiet. He also slapped the girl.

The lift continued on to the 13th floor, where Tan ordered the girl to take off the T-shirt she was wearing. She complied, fearing for her life.

Referring to Tan's string of similar offences committed from the age of 15, District Judge May Mesenas noted that he had graduated to preying on young girls and was at high risk of re-offending.

A psychiatric report submitted to the court from the Institute of Mental Health said that Tan did not suffer from any mental illness.

However, his mother, who was present, told the court that her son does not consider the consequences of his actions.

"He always goes ahead with what's on his mind. I believe he's still a problem," she said.

Copyright 2007 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.

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Corpun file 20855

masthead

The Straits Times, Singapore, 12 December 2008

24-stroke caning cap to be formalised

By Sujin Thomas

press cuttingIN 1976, Chief Justice Wee Chong Jin decided that if an offender were convicted of several charges, each would constitute a separate trial.

The implication of this interpretation of the code meant that a person could legally be caned more than 24 strokes.

But in 1990, the Attorney-General decided that, as a general rule, the courts would not impose more than that number in a single trial, even with multiple charges.

The A-G assessed that 24 strokes, meted together with jail sentences, would be deterrent enough.

The proposed Criminal Procedure Code Bill formalises the cap on caning set at 24 strokes for a single sentencing, regardless of the number of charges an offender might face in a trial.

It also caps the number of strokes an offender can face at one sitting at 24 strokes.

Offences which attract mandatory caning include rape and armed robbery.

In 1988, a 23-year-old offender convicted armed robbery was given 48 strokes of the cane – twice the legal maximum allowed for an adult at a single trial.

He sued the Government but the matter was later settled out of court.

It is still possible that repeat offenders may be caned more than 24 strokes over time, Deputy Prime Minister and then Minister for Law Professor S. Jayakumar told Parliament in February.

For example, the offender may be tried on several occasions for different offences such as rape, armed robbery and rioting with a deadly weapon.

Prof Jayakumar said: "If we say that in any such case there is an absolute cap of 24 strokes, then we are, in fact giving such a serial offender permanent immunity from further caning."

The Bill also gives the courts 24 hours to rectify errors in court orders such as for caning. At present, errors must be rectified on the same day, before court closes.

Lawyer Christopher Bridges said the amendment would prevent the need to file an appeal because the deadline was missed.

Last March, 20-year-old Dickson Tan was wrongly given eight strokes of the cane, instead of five, because of a mistake by a court clerk.

The Government settled the dispute in August with an undisclosed sum of compensation.

Lawyer Peter Fernando said that the longer window for making corrections is a positive development as mistakes can happen in the administration of justice.

He said: "This is especially so where the punishment of caning is involved.

"Once a person is wrongly caned, there is nothing that can be done to change that."

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