A 30-year-old man who, in 20 minutes, raped a woman at three locations along a stretch of public road in 2013 was yesterday sentenced to 16 years, 10 months and two weeks in jail, and 22 strokes of the cane.
In sentencing Lim Choon Beng, Judicial Commissioner Foo Chee Hock said: "The idea that one can walk safely on the public road in Singapore at any time of the day was shattered by the shocking and brazen acts of the accused on that morning." He said a clear message must be sent that those who commit such offences will be punished with "the full force of the law".
Prosecutors had sought at least 17 years' jail and the maximum 24 strokes of the cane for Lim, pointing to the "audacity" of his repeated rapes of the woman, a stranger.
Lim initially pleaded not guilty to raping the woman, then a 24-year-old nightclub singer from China, who was walking home alone in the wee hours of Feb 9, 2013.
The woman, now 27, returned to Singapore to give testimony on how Lim, who was then drunk, had raped her along Martin Road outside the Watermark condominium, then outside the Robertson 100 condominium, and finally near lamp post number 16 along River Valley Close.
A day after the trial started, Lim decided to plead guilty to two charges of rape, one charge of sexual assault and one charge of aggravated outrage of modesty.
The court heard that the woman begged Lim to let her go but he threatened to beat her if she resisted. After the third rape, she escaped.
Lim was arrested after the victim returned to River Valley Close and pointed him out to police, who had been called in by a security guard.