SINGAPORE - A man who raped a cleaner at knifepoint after she thwarted his attempt to rob her was on Monday (Oct 30) sentenced to 17 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane.
Kelvin Singh, 25, had pleaded guilty in August to a charge of rape and two charges of sexual assault by penetration for the attack that took place past midnight in Serangoon Gardens on Jan 13 last year.
Four other charges, for attempted robbery, abduction, aggravated outrage of modesty and criminal intimidation, were taken into consideration.
The prosecution had sought 18 years' jail while the defence had sought 16 years' jail.
Singh has previous convictions for, among other things, theft, criminal intimidation and causing hurt with dangerous weapons.
The High Court heard in August that Singh, who had absconded from the Reformative Training Centre at the time, was cycling in Serangoon Gardens, looking for victims to rob when he spotted the woman.
The Chinese national, 42, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was walking home using her usual route after work. Singh followed her into a back alley off Worthing Road beside Kensington Park condominium, got down from his bicycle and ran towards her, brandishing a foldable Swiss Army knife.
Suspecting that he was going to rob her, the woman threw her handbag containing about $800 over the fence into the compound of a house along the alley.
When Singh pointed his knife at her and demanded money, the terrified woman pointed at the house and told him "no money" in English.
Angered by the realisation that she had thrown her bag over the fence, Singh decided to have sex with her.
Holding the knife, he signalled for her to follow him to the end of the alley, where he forced her to perform oral sex on him and raped her after threatening her with the knife.
The woman did as she was told out of fear that he would kill her.
After the sexual assault, Singh used his right thumb to make a slitting gesture across his own throat, and warned her not to call the police, before cycling off.
The woman then phoned her boyfriend to tell him where she was. When the 38-year-old driver arrived, the woman told him about the foiled robbery but felt too embarrassed to mention the sexual assault.
The boyfriend called the police to report the attempted robbery.
Three days later, a member of the public alerted the police after spotting Singh cycling around the nearby Tavistock Avenue Park.
It is understood that police had asked residents to come forward if they had information regarding the incident.
When police officers arrived and identified themselves to Singh, he dropped his bicycle and fled on foot. He boarded a taxi in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 but was arrested after a brief chase.