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Howard Shaw begins jail term for sex with underaged prostitute

Published on Oct 5, 2012 11:45 AM
Howard Shaw, (right), arrives at the Subordinate Courts on Friday, Oct 5, accompanied by his wife, Ms Jessie Xue. Shaw has been sentenced to 12 weeks in jail for paying for sex with an underage prostitute. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

HOWARD Shaw, sentenced to 12 weeks in jail for paying for sex with an underage prostitute, reported to the Subordinate Courts on Friday to begin his jail term.

The 41-year-old was accompanied by his wife, Ms Jessie Xue when he surrendered to the court at about 11.20am.

Speaking to reporters, Shaw said he felt "nervous".

It was reported two weeks ago that Shaw, had decided not to appeal against his sentence, although he had successfully applied to defer his jail term.

When asked on Friday why he had withdrew his appeal, he said there was "no particular reason" and it was his own decision.

The grandson of Runme Shaw, founder of Shaw Organisation that owns the Shaw cinema chain, was one of 51 men charged in an online vice case that involved an underage Singaporean prostitute.

Shaw paid the girl - who was 17 years old then, but now above 18 - $500 for the tryst, and was charged under section 376B of the Penal Code for commercial sex with a minor.

He was sentenced on July 30 to 12 weeks in jail after he pleaded guilty to having sex with the girl once in October 2010. He had earlier asked for a conditional discharge or a fine for the offence but it was not granted.

His lawyer, Senior Counsel Harpreet Singh Nehal, had argued then that he had made an "honest and reasonable" mistake, and was deceived about the girl's age by her profile on a social escort website.

But in his written grounds of decision, Senior District Judge See Kee Oon, who meted out the sentence, said that Shaw had been "reckless" when he did not make any effort to check or verify the minor's age.

He also questioned if Shaw was truly remorseful because he had maintained he was "blameless" despite pleading guilty.

Eleven of the 51 men implicated in the case, including Shaw have been sentenced to jail sentences of between nine and 13 weeks.

Last week, Republic of Singapore Navy captain Chan Wei Kiat, 27, became the eleventh man to be jailed for paid sex with the prostitute. He was given 11 week's jail for paying $500 for the 17-year-old's services at Hotel 81 in Lavender Street in 2010.