Repeat offender gets five years of corrective training

A man who molested a woman at Hong Lim Park a few months after he was released from prison, had his original 11-month jail term upped to five years of corrective training on Wednesday.

This came after the prosecution appealed for a stiffer sentence for Sahari Akesah, 43, pointing to his lengthy criminal history, and that he had neither been deterred nor rehabilitated by his previous sentences for a variety of offences.

Corrective training, which can last between five and 14 years, is a tough regime for repeat offenders, with no remission for good behaviour.

Sahari's criminal history goes back to 1992 when, at age 20, he was fined $1,000 for insulting a woman's modesty. Since then, he has been jailed and caned for offences including drug consumption, theft, cheating and house trespass. He was last sentenced in May 2009 to five years of corrective training and six strokes of the cane for robbery.

In his latest offence on Nov 9 last year, Sahari noticed the woman standing at a junction in Upper Pickering Street. Later, when she was at the pathway of Hong Lim Park, he rubbed her chest with his right hand and then told her she had nice breasts.

In May, he pleaded guilty to one charge each of outraging the woman's modesty and insulting her modesty. Although the prosecution asked for a report to determine if he was suitable for corrective training, the district judge declined to do so and instead jailed him for 11 months.

The prosecution appealed, arguing that the refusal to call for a report was "counter intuitive", given Sahari's record and that he had repeatedly squandered chances to turn over a new leaf.

Selina Lum

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 09, 2015, with the headline 'Repeat offender gets five years of corrective training'. Print Edition | Subscribe