Gardener jailed for showing obscene image to teen on phone

Investigations showed that Chua Ah Guan had downloaded the picture from Facebook. It was one of 157 such images in his phone.
Investigations showed that Chua Ah Guan had downloaded the picture from Facebook. It was one of 157 such images in his phone.ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A 13-year-old student was on his way for sports training within the Singapore Botanic Gardens one morning when a gardener showed him an obscene image on his mobile phone, a court heard.

Chua Ah Guan, 59, had called out to the victim in Mandarin, saying he had something to show him when the Secondary 1 student was walking towards Jacob Ballas Children's Garden within the Botanic Gardens last Dec 23.

The victim turned and walked towards Chua, who showed him a photo of a private part on his mobile phone.

When he saw the photograph, the victim yelled "pervert'' in Mandarin and called for help.

Get The Straits Times
newsletters in your inbox

A full-time national serviceman heard it and approached the victim, who asked him to call the police. Chua approached them and apologised repeatedly to the victim.

The complainant and the victim left to meet the police. They gave a description of Chua to the police but he could not be found at the incident location.

With the help of gardening staff, the police managed to lure Chua to the Plant Research Centre and detained him there.

Further investigation showed that Chua had downloaded the picture of the private part from Facebook. It was one of 157 such images in his phone.

Chua said he did not know why he had shown the image to the victim.

The prosecution had sought four months' jail for Chua while his lawyer Victor Leong pleaded for a fine.

Chua was jailed for two weeks on Friday (May 19) by District Judge Kessler Soh.

The judge rejected the prosecution's application for a stay of the sentence as well as deferment of sentence pending its appeal to the High Court.

He could have been jailed for up to one year and/or fined for showing the obscene object to a person under 21 years old.


Correction note: An earlier version of this story stated that Chua Ah Guan had two similar convictions in the 1990s. It is untrue. We are sorry for the error.