Full-time national serviceman with SCDF jailed for underage sex and desertion

A full-time national serviceman with the Singapore Civil Defence Force was sentenced to 12 months' jail on Tuesday for underage sex and desertion.

Khairul Juperi, 24, who is married with two young children, pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl with her consent in a shelter near Pandan Reservoir last November. He also admitted to deserting his national service duty at the Civil Defence Academy (CDA) at Jalan Bahar for five months and 24 days from May last year.

The court heard that Khairul and the girl were chatting in a shelter near Pandan Reservoir sometime in November last year when they ended up having sex.

The offence came to light when a police officer from the Clementi Police Division was investigating a "missing person'' report involving the teen and she revealed that she had sex with a 23-year-old man. A police report was lodged on Nov 15.

Investigations revealed that Khairul was posted to CDA to continue his national service duty from September 2012 until further notice. But he failed to report for duty on May 21 last year and continued to be absent without leave until his arrest on Nov 14.

District Judge Mathew Joseph chided him for his "deplorable'' conduct, and said that she should be ashamed of himself, as a married man with children.

As for the desertion charge, the judge noted that this was the third time he was appearing before the court and warned that Khairul could face a very stiff sentence if he appeared in court another time.

Khairul, who was jailed twice before for desertion in 2010 and 2012, applied to defer his sentence to sort out accommodation issues. A bail amount of $15,000 was allowed and he is due to surrender himself to the authorities on May 12.

He could have been jailed for up to 10 years and/or fined for underage sex. For desertion, the maximum penalty is 10 years' jail.