Jail for tennis coach who performed sexual acts on underage male student

Phoo Siang Qing was sentenced to two years and nine months' jail for committing the offences in 2013 and 2014. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - A tennis coach who often kissed one of his male students goodbye when sending the teenager home later performed sexual acts on the boy.

The prosecution told a district court that Phoo Siang Qing had abused the trust placed in him and targeted the victim, who was between 14 and 15 years old at the time.

The 40-year-old Singaporean was sentenced on Friday (Dec 18) to two years and nine months' jail for committing the offences in 2013 and 2014.

He had pleaded guilty to two counts of sexually exploiting a minor. He also admitted he had performed oral sex on the underage boy.

Six other counts of sexually exploiting the teenager were considered during sentencing.

The court heard that Phoo and the boy had gone for dinner and movie outings multiple times.

The teenager had, however, thought his coach was merely trying to be a brother to him.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Zu Zhao said: "After some time, the accused suddenly began kissing the victim's cheek and forehead while saying goodbye to the victim when dropping the victim off at the victim's home. The accused subsequently asked the victim if he could kiss the victim's lips but the victim was reluctant."

Phoo continued to persist until the boy finally relented and allowed the offender to kiss his lips.

The DPP added: "From that day on, the accused would kiss the victim on the lips to say goodbye whenever he drove (him) home. After a while, this became the norm for the victim. Gradually, the accused and the victim began to hug and kiss each other in the car or at the accused's house when no one was around."

Later, Phoo started touching the boy's thigh when they were in his car and over time, the boy's private parts.

"For the first few times, the victim was reluctant but gave in after persuasion from the accused," said DPP Lee.

Some time between June 2013 and March 2014, Phoo invited the boy to shower with him and, among other things, he performed oral sex on the minor.

How Phoo's offences came to light was not stated in court documents.

On Friday, defence lawyer Peter Fernando pleaded for his client to be given 16 months' jail, stressing that Phoo is "sincerely repentant".

Mr Fernando also told Senior District Judge Ong Hian Sun that Phoo has a history of "severe depression". He has since sought treatment and is taking his medicine as prescribed, said the lawyer.

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