'Mentor'

Longer jail term for paedophile

A paedophile who obtained various sexual favours from 10 young boys yesterday had his jail term increased from 12-1/2 years to 18-1/2 years, following an appeal by the prosecution.

Second Solicitor-General Mavis Chionh argued yesterday that the original sentence was manifestly inadequate compared against relevant sentencing precedents.

She said the trial judge had failed to give enough weight to the fact that Goh Jun Guan, 28, was a paedophile with a moderate risk of reoffending and had manipulated the victims.

The Court of Appeal agreed that Goh deserved a stiffer sentence.

Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, delivering the decision of the three-judge court, noted that past sentences for sex offenders who preyed on multiple young victims over a prolonged period ranged between 18 and 30 years.

Goh showed a high degree of premeditation and exploitation in a serious case involving young and vulnerable victims over a period of more than 21/2 years, he said.

However, the court, which also comprised Judges of Appeal Andrew Phang and Tay Yong Kwang, did not change Goh's sentence of 15 strokes of the cane. The prosecution had argued for a jail term of 21 years and 24 strokes of the cane.

Goh had befriended 10 boys, aged 10 to 15, at game shops and through online forums where trading cards for a popular game called Vanguard were traded or sold.

He would volunteer to mentor or train the boys, who were avid players of the game, to become better players or to get better cards.

Goh cajoled his victims into committing various sexual acts by telling them it was a condition of their "training".

He persuaded the boys to send him photos of their genitalia, sent them risque photos of himself and touched them inappropriately. He also got three boys to engage in oral sex with him at his flat and in public toilets.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2017, with the headline 'Longer jail term for paedophile'. Print Edition | Subscribe