Manager, 42, convicted of sexual acts against minor with borderline intelligence

SINGAPORE - The teenager needed a friend, someone she could share her personal problems with, but the 42-year-old manufacturing manager had other plans after befriending her on social media platform WeChat.

Having gained the trust of the then 15-year-old girl, Singaporean Ian Kevin Bligh invited her over to his home while his wife was at work. He then had sexual intercourse with the minor.

In his submissions, Deputy Public Prosecutor Raja Mohan told the court the girl "was scared and struggled to process what was happening".

On another occasion, Bligh gave her a glass of vodka before sexually penetrating her. The offences took place between May and November 2014.

DPP Raja said: "The victim trusted the accused and was sufficiently comfortable to share her personal problems - about her fights with her father and classmates - with him. The victim was unequivocal that she did not harbour any romantic feelings for the accused."

On Tuesday (Sept 4), after a six-day trial, District Judge Tan Jen Tse found Bligh guilty of two counts of sexual penetration .

In his submissions, DPP Raja told the court that the girl, who is now 19, did not like to be at home, as she was not close to her family members - namely her father, stepmother and two step-siblings.

The teen, who is of borderline intelligence, also got into arguments and near-fights with the boys in her Secondary 3 class almost daily because they irritated her. She felt that as a prefect and class monitor, she was being targeted by her classmates.

As a result, she did not like going to school.

The DPP added that the teenager also felt she was unable to talk to her father about her problems.

The girl said she could chat with Bligh, sharing with him her age, hobbies and personal problems.

But Bligh took her virginity, the girl had testified.

She stopped all contact with him in November 2014 and kept the incidents a secret, fearing that her "hot-tempered" father would find out and attack Bligh.

The incident only came to light when she was confronted by a teacher for using her mobile phone in class on Jan 14, 2015. Upon checking her phone, the teacher found messages between the girl and her boyfriend.

Suspecting that the two had engaged in sexual activities, the matter was referred to the police. It was during police investigations that Bligh's offences were uncovered, said the DPP.

The manufacturing manager was offered bail of $10,000 and will be back in court on Oct 4.