Father of three admits to performing sex act on male tenant without his consent

Former project engineer Waduge Buddhika Upashantha Fernando, 38, pleaded guilty to one count of non-consensual sexual penetration.
Former project engineer Waduge Buddhika Upashantha Fernando, 38, pleaded guilty to one count of non-consensual sexual penetration.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Feeling an overwhelming urge, a father of three young children crept into his tenant's bedroom and performed oral sex on the sleeping man without his consent.

On Wednesday (June 27), former project engineer Waduge Buddhika Upashantha Fernando, 38, pleaded guilty to one count of non-consensual sexual penetration.

The offence took place in a Kim Keat Avenue flat in Toa Payoh, home to the married Singaporean, who is originally from Sri Lanka, and his family. 

His tenant, a 28-year-old Malaysian cook, had lived in the unit for about four months before the incident.

The victim had little interaction with the other members of the household as he was usually out of the flat by 9am and only back at 11pm every day.

On Nov 10 last year, the victim returned to the flat at around 11.30pm and fell asleep in his room about 1½ hours later, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Marshall Lim.

Fernando returned home at around 3am and was about to head out again to a nearby market when he felt an urge to have sex with another man.

The tenant woke up about 10 minutes later and saw Fernando committing the offence.

DPP Lim said: "The victim yelled and kicked at the accused instinctively... The accused left the room and then left the flat immediately. The victim was shocked and did not know how to react."

The cook then alerted the police about an hour later.

In urging District Judge Kessler Soh to sentence Fernando to at least eight years' jail with four strokes of the cane, DPP Lim said: "This is the place where one can expect to feel safe and secure. When penetrative sexual assault involves landlords and tenants who share the same premises, it will undoubtedly cause grave public disquiet."

Fernando's lawyer, Mr Amolat Singh, pleaded for a five-year jail sentence for his client. He told Judge Soh: "He did not use any violence or any force or any stupefying drug to overcome the victim's resistance or to obliterate his memory.

"There was no moral corruption nor is there any evidence that the victim suffered grave psychological or emotional trauma."

Fernando is now out on bail of $25,000 and will be back in court on July 17. The Straits Times understands that he was married in Sri Lanka in 2008. The couple became Singaporeans in 2013.

For performing the sexual act on the cook without his consent, Fernando can be jailed for up to 20 years and caned.