SINGAPORE - A man who was sent to jail in 2013 for molesting an 11-year-old boy did not learn his lesson and committed a similar offence against another child after serving his sentence.
The recalcitrant offender Tok Chon Chey, now 74, was working as a gardener at a condominium in the eastern part of Singapore when he targeted a seven-year-old boy in March 2019.
At the time of the offences, the child was living at the condo with his father.
The elderly Singaporean was sentenced on Tuesday (May 4) to one year and nine months' jail after he pleaded guilty to molesting the child.
Tok also admitted that he had made the boy perform a sexual act on him.
Details about the victim and the condominium cannot be disclosed due to a gag order to protect his identity.
Tok had known the victim for at least two years before he committed the offences and they would exchange greetings when they met.
On March 21, 2019, he spotted the victim and offered him $2 to buy some ice cream.
Tok also told the boy to meet him at a barbecue pit within the property two days later.
The boy declined the offer and did not take the money, the court heard.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Lai said that Tok saw the boy again at around 10.30am on March 23, 2019, and asked him to come over.
Tok then carried the child and placed him on his lap.
The pair were chatting when the senior citizen suddenly kissed the boy's lips.
One of the boy's neighbours was walking nearby when she spotted Tok committing the act.
The DPP said: "She continued to walk towards the exit and out of the condominium but later decided to walk back as she felt uneasy over what she saw."
Meanwhile, Tok told the boy to stand up. He then touched the child's private parts with his hand.
He also told the boy to perform a sexual act on him and the child complied.
When the woman finally reached the pair, she saw the boy performing the act on Tok.
DPP Lai told the court: "The witness immediately approached them and asked the accused if he thought what he was doing was right. At this point, the victim... walked to where the witness was and stood behind her.
"The accused started to plead with the witness to not report the matter."
Ignoring Tok's pleas, the 45-year-old woman took the child to the condominium's guard house and the matter was reported to a security supervisor.
The boy's parents were contacted and his father alerted the police at around 11am that day.
For molesting a child below 14 years old, an offender can be jailed for up to five years and fined or caned.
Tok cannot be caned as he is over 50 years old.