SINGAPORE - A man, who was sentenced to jail and caning in 1999 for molesting a seven-year-old girl, went back to his old ways and outraged the modesty of a family friend's young daughter about five years later.
On separate occasions between 2004 and 2008, he committed sexual offences against the girl and her two sisters when they attended a playhouse which his wife operated.
A district court heard that the three girls were then between six and 10 years old.
On Tuesday (March 3), the 65-year-old man, who has been diagnosed with "paedophilia disorder", pleaded guilty to two molestation charges and one count of committing an indecent act on a child.
District Judge Christopher Goh then sentenced him to 26 months and eight weeks' jail.
Due to a gag order, the man cannot be named to protect the girls' identities.
Referring to the earlier offences, Deputy Public Prosecutor Marshall Lim said the man was working as a private tutor in 1996 when he molested one of his pupils, a seven-year-old girl, in his home.
He was sentenced to 10 months' jail and three strokes of the cane in 1999.
Despite this, he continued to prey on young girls.
The DPP said that the man's wife ran a playhouse in Bedok which conducted enrichment programmes for children.
The programmes were designed for children with learning disabilities although all children were accepted.
The man, who helped conduct some of the enrichment activities, also ferried the pupils around in a van. The couple lived on the second storey of the playhouse.
Some time between 2003 and 2004, the mother of the girls in the latest case noticed that one of her daughters had learning difficulties and enrolled all three children in the playhouse.
But he betrayed the woman's trust when he took one of the girls to his home after classes ended some time between 2004 and 2006, and groped the child's chest.
She was only between eight and 10 years old at the time.
The man struck again later and targeted her younger sister, who was then between seven and nine years old.
This time, he shoved the girl's hand into his trousers and told her to touch his private parts.
Some time between 2007 and 2008, he molested the girls' youngest sister, who was then about seven years old.
A decade later, the two younger girls were having tuition classes in April 2017 when their tutor noticed that the middle sister appeared troubled.
The tutor's identity was not revealed in court documents.
The girl then told her sister and their tutor about what the man had done to her.
Her younger sister then lodged a police report on May 5 that year.
The oldest girl did likewise two days later.
On Tuesday, the DPP said that regardless of whether the man elected to address his disorder with psychiatric treatment or therapy, a deterrent sentence would be a constant reminder that should he succumb, the penal consequences would be severe.
He added: "The sentence must adequately punish the accused and at the same time, act as a constant reminder to him of the severe consequences that will befall him if he acts on his paedophilic tendencies and reoffends after his release.
"The sentence must also fully encapsulate the seriousness of, and society’s abhorrence for, such actions."
Offenders convicted of molestation can be jailed for up to two years and fined or caned. The man cannot be caned as he is over 50 years old.