SINGAPORE - A part-time odd-job labourer who had paid sex with a 17-year-old girl three times over nine days was jailed for nine months on Thursday (June 22).
Toh Chuan Choon, 53, admitted to two counts of obtaining the sexual services of the girl at his Boon Lay flat for $500 on Feb 8, and $200 on Feb 17 this year. Another charge involving $100 was taken into consideration in sentencing.
A district court heard that co-accused Ng Kok Hua, 60, a retiree, had approached the victim some time last October when he saw her crying. The school dropout told him that she had numerous personal issues, including a strained relationship with her mother.
He offered her support and they stayed in touch. Ng found out that she was 17.
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The court heard that her birthday is closer to the end of the year.
Deputy Public Prosecutor N.K. Anitha said some time in January this year, the victim told Ng that she was looking to earn money. He suggested that the easiest way was for her to "sell her body" which she did not immediately agree to.
Ng, who has since been charged with several offences, told Toh about the victim. He also told Toh her actual age and her dire family background, and mediated the "flesh transaction".
On Feb 8 at 1.24am, Ng called the victim on the phone and told her to meet him downstairs if she wanted money.
Toh was waiting with Ng. All three then consumed beer nearby.
Toh asked the victim how old she was, and she replied that she was 17.
The trio then proceeded to Toh's flat where they continued drinking. Toh handed $500 to the victim in Ng's presence and Ng told her it was for sex.
She accepted the payment and Toh had two rounds of unprotected sex with the victim in his bedroom.
Subsequently, Toh obtained the victim's contact number and began to contact her directly.
On Feb 17 at about 1am, he sought Ng's help to contact the victim, who was not picking up his calls. Ng then called and pestered the victim to go over to Toh's flat.
But she said that she did not want to have sex with Toh. Ng then persuaded her to turn up at Toh's flat.
Shortly after she arrived, Ng left the flat. Toh had sex with the victim and paid her $200.
A social worker from the Ministry of Social and Family Development reported the commercial sex case on Feb 24. Through follow-up investigation, Toh and Ng were arrested.
Pleading for leniency, Toh's lawyer Jeanny Ng said in mitigation that her client has been visiting his 76-year-old widowed mother, who has cancer, daily at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital since June 1.
She said Toh, a bachelor, was educated up to Primary 6 only; suffers from respiratory problems and gout; and makes no excuse for his offences committed out of loneliness, boredom and little control of his sexual urges.
Toh could have been jailed for up to seven years and/or fined for having paid sex with a person under 18 years old on each charge.