9 years' jail for preying on teenage boy

Repeat sex offender gets preventive detention this time, after completing a 14-year jail term for similar offences

A convicted sex offender was out for just 10 months after a 14-year jail term, before he found another young boy to prey upon.

This time, Lim Cher Foong, 37, will spend nine years in preventive detention - a regime with no remission for good behaviour, intended to protect the public.

After a trial, Lim was found guilty in September of three counts of sexual penetration of a minor at Village Hotel Changi in Netheravon Road on June 14 and 15, 2013.

Yesterday, District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim took into account the nearly 21/2 years he had spent in remand in sentencing him.

Lim's previous conviction in 2004 was for five counts of having unnatural sex with a 16-year-old and a 15-year-old. He was given the maximum seven years per charge, with two to run consecutively for a total of 14 years.

He had coerced the boys into engaging in anal sex with him after deceiving them into believing it was part of "qigong".

Lim was released in August 2012 but, just 10 months later, committed similar offences against a 15-year- old boy.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Rachel Ng pointed out that Lim had harmed the victim less than a month after he had befriended him.

"It is clear that the accused is a recalcitrant offender with a proclivity for sexual crimes,'' she submitted.

She said the 14 years of imprisonment had had no effect on reforming or deterring him from committing similar crimes.

He even used the same pretence of transferring "qi'' (vital energy) to the victim and vice versa.

The prosecution said after Lim had met the victim through a third party, he told the boy he fell ill easily and was thin as he lacked sufficient "qi''. Lim said anal sex was a way to transfer "qi'' between them.

He also threatened the victim with physical violence, and harassed him by repeatedly messaging him and keeping tabs on him through a GPS tracker installed on the boy's cellphone.

The prosecution said he picked up the victim in a taxi on June 14 that year, ostensibly for an overnight fishing trip, but actually to perform sexual acts on him.

Lim's defence was a bare denial. His lawyer Sarjit Singh had argued that this case did not warrant preventive detention, as his client was not a danger to the public at large.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2015, with the headline '9 years' jail for preying on teenage boy'. Print Edition | Subscribe