14 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for forklift driver who raped prostitute after she refused sex

SINGAPORE - A forklift driver who engaged the services of a sex worker told her, when she arrived at his Jurong flat, that he neither had a condom nor the money to pay the agreed price of $200.

When the Vietnamese woman refused to have sex with him, Chew Teng Wee robbed and raped her at knifepoint.

On Monday (April 22), Chew, who turned 29 this month, was sentenced to 14 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to one charge each of robbery and aggravated rape for the offences on Aug 30, 2017.

The High Court heard that Chew first saw the victim, then 28, in May 2017 while she was working as a performing artiste at a KTV club in Jalan Besar. She is not named owing to a gag order to protect her identity.

Chew got her number from her co-worker and contacted her on the WeChat messaging app but she brushed him off.

Past midnight on Aug 30, Chew called her for sex. She did not recognise his voice and quoted a price of $200 when he asked how much she charged for a "short time".

Instead of giving her his address, Chew asked her to call him before boarding the taxi, then to pass the phone to the driver so that he can give directions to the driver.

 

After she alighted at a block nearby, Chew led her to his block. They took a lift to the sixth floor, walked across the common corridor, and then took another lift to his unit on the eighth floor.

As his mother slept in her room, Chew took the sex worker to his room.

She asked him for payment but Chew told her he only had $50 but suggested that he could withdraw the balance after they had sex. She also asked if he had a condom and he said no.

The woman refused to have sex with him without protection and full payment. She suggested that he go and withdraw the money first and buy a condom on the way.

This angered Chew, who grabbed a knife on top of his cupboard and placed it against her neck. She immediately knelt and begged for her life, sustaining a superficial cut to her neck.

Chew then demanded for money and took two $100 notes from her wallet.

He made her perform a sexual act while he took photos and a video with his mobile phone and had unprotected sex with her.

The woman tried to talk Chew into letting her leave by telling him she had a young child and that she was hungry.

He allowed her to wash up, returned her the $200 and warned her not to report the matter or he would post her photos and the video online.

After failing to persuade him to delete the images, she took a taxi to Orchard Towers. There, she burst into tears as she related the incident to her friends.

A passer-by who saw her in distress called the police at about 4.40am. Chew was arrested later that day.

On Monday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Gail Wong sought 15 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for sentencing, arguing that there was some premeditation.

The DPP noted that Chew took a "needlessly convoluted route" to his flat to prevent the woman from being able to identify his unit.

She also argued that Chew's past convictions for theft and criminal breach of trust showed a trend of offences against women.

Chew's lawyer, Mr Shaneet Rai, asked for 13 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane, arguing that his client committed rape and robbery on the spur of the moment.

He said Chew took a longer route to his flat because he did not want neighbours to know that he was bringing a prostitute home.