Former kitchen help gets 17 years, 24 strokes for rape, robbery

Chang Kar Meng was sentenced to 17 years' jail and the maximum 24 strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to one count each of rape and robbery with hurt at about 1.30am on March 8, 2013. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE 
Chang Kar Meng was sentenced to 17 years' jail and the maximum 24 strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to one count each of rape and robbery with hurt at about 1.30am on March 8, 2013. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE 

SINGAPORE - A 27-year-old kitchen worker crept up behind a 35-year-old woman while she was waiting for the lift in Paya Lebar, knocked her senseless, then robbed her before dragging her to a nearby grass patch where he raped her, the High Court heard on Thursday.

Chang Kar Meng was sentenced to 17 years' jail and the maximum 24 strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to one count each of rape and robbery with hurt at about 1.30am on March 8, 2013 .

The court heard that the woman, a foreigner married to a Singaporean, was on her way home after leaving work.

The woman, who worked as a waitress, was using her mobile phone at the lift lobby of her block of flats when Chang spotted her and decided to rob her as he was short of money.

He took off his slippers and placed them in the bushes and sneaked up on the woman as soundlessly as possible. He covered her mouth with his left hand and, using a move he learnt from the movies, hit the back of her neck. After a few blows, she passed out.

Just as he was about to drag her away, the lift doors opened. Chang lowered his head to avoid being captured by the surveillance camera inside. The footage was played in court on Thursday.

After the lift doors closed, he dragged her away and took her sling bag, jewellery and other valuables.

He then laid her down on a grass patch and took photos of her exposed breasts with his phone camera.

At this time, the woman came to but pretended to remain unconscious out of fear. Chang raped her, then used his T-shirt to clean himself as well as the woman. He took more photos of her bare breasts, dressed her and propped her up in a sitting position before making off with her bag.

The woman went home and told her husband that she had been robbed. He called the police. Chang was arrested 5-1/2 months later. The court heard that a large number of women's underwear was seized from him.

selinal@sph.com.sg