Child molester sentenced to preventive detention for reoffending 10 months after release from prison

SINGAPORE - A man sentenced to 10 years' preventive detention in 2009 for molesting six children, including a one-year-old baby, will be back behind bars for molesting a 10-year-old girl just 10 months after his release in 2019.

Cleaner Salim Abdul Rahman, now 61, was sentenced on Monday (Jan 18) to 12 years' preventive detention. He pleaded guilty to the molestation charge in December last year.

The court heard that the Singaporean has "paedophilic sexual interest" and a high risk of reoffending.

However, an Institute of Mental Health report states that he was not suffering from any psychiatric disorders or illnesses when he molested his latest victim on Oct 1 last year.

Preventive detention is meted out to recalcitrant offenders aged over 30 and it does not offer the usual one-third remission for good behaviour.

The detention order can last up to 20 years, and those given such a sentence will receive a substantial period of imprisonment to protect the public.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Colin Ng said that Salim, who was released from prison on Dec 27, 2019, targeted the victim on Oct 1 last year.

The cleaner was on a bus at around 1.40pm when he spotted the girl, who was in her school uniform.

After the pair alighted at the same bus stop, Salim decided to approach her. He had "evil thoughts of doing something bad" and wanted himself to "feel good", said the DPP.

As the girl was walking home, he touched her shoulders from behind.

She turned around and he tried to strike a conversation with her. The girl ignored him, as she did not know him.

The DPP said: "Despite the victim's refusal to answer his questions, the accused persisted in striking a conversation with the victim. The accused took out $1.50 from his pocket, handed it to the victim, and told her to keep the $1.50.

"The victim accepted the $1.50, as she was afraid to incur the wrath of the accused should she reject his gesture. The accused then held the victim's right hand and told her to follow him to his house."

Salim took the girl to a nearby block of flats and molested her along a staircase when she refused to follow him any further.

The terrified girl ran home and broke down when she arrived at her flat.

She told her grandmother about her ordeal and the 68-year-old woman accompanied the girl to a police station to make a report.

Officers arrested Salim at around 8pm that day, the court heard.

For molesting a child below 14, an offender can be jailed for up to five years and fined or caned. Salim cannot be caned, as he is over 50 years old.