SINGAPORE - A storekeeper who molested a young girl twice at a public area was jailed for six months on Monday (June 13).
Malaysian Lim Kok Leong, 29, admitted touching the buttocks of the girl at Boon Lay Shopping Centre on Sept 21 last year.
Investigation showed that the girl had gone to the shopping centre at Boon Lay Place that evening with her parents.
She was looking at some lanterns hung outside a shop when Lim used his hand to touch her as he walked past her.
She felt the touch but did not say anything as she thought it was accidental.
Lim then observed her from a distance to see if she had reacted. When he saw that she did not tell her mother, he felt an urge to touch her again.
He then walked towards her and touched her buttocks once before walking away.
This time, the girl told her mother what Lim had done. The mother immediately shouted at Lim to stop. Lim neither stopped nor looked back and fled in the opposite direction. The girl's parents gave chase but he got away.
An extensive police operation was mounted to identity and arrest Lim, who was nabbed a month later and released on bail.
While out on bail, he molested a 14-year-old girl in a lift at Boon Lay Avenue on Feb 11 this year. This charge was taken into consideration in sentencing.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Lai, who sought a jail sentence of at least four months, said Lim committed the offence at 8.30pm in a brazen manner, in full view of others.
Pleading for a lighter sentence, Lim admitted his mistake. He said he had done wrong and wishes to return home as his father has been hospitalised.
District Judge Lim Tse Haw agreed with the prosecution that there were many aggravating factors in Lim's case, in particular the girl's very young age.
He said Lim had repeated the act on the same occasion.
"After having touched her the first time, and seeing that she did not react, you had the audacity to touch her a second time," he said.
He backdated Lim's sentence to Feb 13. Lim could have been jailed for up to five years, fined, caned or received any combined punishment for molesting a girl under 14 years old.