SINGAPORE - First, he molested a six-year-old boy at a fast-food restaurant. Less than 15 minutes later, he touched the buttocks of a 60-year-old woman on a bus.
Abdul Halim Ibrahim, 60, who is unemployed and stateless, was sentenced to 18 months' jail on Friday (Nov 24).
He pleaded guilty to touching the groin area of the boy at Burger King in Techno Park@ Chai Chee on Sept 9 this year.
The other molestation charge was considered in the sentencing.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Jesintha Veijayaratnam told the court that the boy's mother took him and his brother to Burger King for breakfast that day.
She left them at the table nearest to the entrance and proceeded to order food about 10m away.
Halim entered Burger King to sell tissue paper to the patrons. He sat beside the victim and mumbled something which the boy did not understand. He also asked for the boy's age.
He then placed his palm on the victim's groin over his shorts and moved his palm in a circular motion.
The boy's mother saw this and immediately confronted Halim. He was arrested later that day.
Halim told a psychiatrist at the Institute of Mental Health that he rubbed the boy to make the latter "feel good''. He did not have any mental disorder other than heroin use disorder diagnosed previously.
Halim had a similar conviction in 1990 and numerous other property-related antecedents since the mid-1970s.
Urging the court to impose a stiff sentence of 18 months' jail, DPP Jesintha said the rubbing was not fleeting, and that Halim had exploited a vulnerable victim who was only six years old.
She also drew the court's attention to his molestation of the 60-year-old woman on a bus. She said there was a need to quell public disquiet and unease engendered by his deplorable offences.
Halim, whose sentence was backdated to Sept 12, could have been jailed for up to five years and/or fined for molesting a person under 14 years of age.