Man gets 6 years' corrective training for molesting two 14-year-old boys

Yeo Wu Kok was sentenced to six years' corrective training for molesting two boys.
Yeo Wu Kok was sentenced to six years' corrective training for molesting two boys. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Instead of taking a bus to Malaysia at Woodlands Bus Interchange like he planned to, Yeo Wu Kok, 54, decided to board the same bus as a 14-year-old boy after he got attracted to his white shoes and socks.

On July 8 (2015), the teen alighted in Petir Road, in Bukit Panjang, and Yeo got off the bus with him. He chatted with the boy and lied that he was doing a photography project.

He then asked the boy for directions to the nearest community centre. They first went to Bukit Panjang Community Centre, and later, to Senja-Cashew Community Centre. Yeo took photos of the boy at both places.

Yeo then asked the boy to take him to the nearby multi-storey carpark, saying he wanted to take photos of the community centre from a different angle. The boy complied.

However, his motive was to get the victim naked and take photographs of him, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Jesintha Veijayaratnam.

At topmost deck of the carpark, Yeo massaged the boy's facial area, saying he was teaching him some massage techniques to reduce is stress during the upcoming examination period.

Yeo and the boy then went to a staircase landing between the sixth and seventh storey of a Housing Board block at Petir Road. There, Yeo removed the boy's socks, shoes and shorts and molested the boy. He also took four photographs of the boy, which he later deleted. He then gave the boy $18 and told him not to tell anyone what had happened.

Yeo re-offended while waiting for the case to go to trial.

On June 17 ( 2016), he approached a 14-year-old boy and asked him to walk with him to Woodlands Community Centre as he did not have enough money in his ez-link card.

He took a photograph of the boy in front of the centre, and made the victim take him to Republic Polytechnic for "research". At about 1.40pm, they arrived at the nearby Admiralty Park and Yeo asked the boy to do push-ups. He squatted next to the victim and touched his lower abdominal area after telling the victim to "look forward".

The prosecutor said the victim felt uncomfortable when Yeo later told him to sit down and started massaging his temple and eye area.

Yeo then offered the victim $50 but the victim declined, saying his mother would not approve. Yeo then offered him $5 and told him that he need not tell his mother about it.

The boy became suspicious and asked for his name card but Yeo did not give him one.

As they walked, Yeo suddenly hugged the victim, who tried to push him away.

Yeo was found by an Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist to be suffering from hebephilia - a strong, persistent sexual interest by adults in children between ages 12 and 14 - and bipolar affective disorder.

The prosecutor said Yeo was released from prison in April 2011 - for his second molestation conviction - and had done similar things to four other boys before his arrest for the 2015 offence. She asked for preventive detention, saying Yeo is a "systematic sexual predator", and poses a danger to any adolescent boy in a school uniform.

She added that in cases dating back to 2004, Yeo's method remained unchanged.

Pro bono lawyer Ariel Lim Huimin from CLAS Fellowship said Yeo, who has degrees in economics, psychology and law from Canadian and British universities, has a family and personal history of mental illnesses. He was experiencing a hypomanic episode at the time of the offences. She asked for six years' corrective training to be imposed.

District Judge Carol Ling on Monday (Aug 21) agreed and backdated Yeo's sentence to his remand on July 13 (2016).

Corrective training is a prison regime for repeat offenders without remission for good behaviour. The minimum period is five years and the maximum is 14 years.