SINGAPORE - A self-styled spiritual "master" who was sentenced to 12 years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane last month for rape was on Thursday (Aug 4) spared caning on account of his heart condition.
On July 11, seven days after he was sentenced, Ow Siew Hoe, 49, was examined by prison doctors and found to be unfit for caning due to ischaemic heart disease.
Under the law, when an offender is found unfit for caning, the court can remit the sentence of caning or impose an additional jail term of up to 12 months.
On Thursday, the prosecution sought the maximum 12 months' jail in lieu of caning, but this was rejected by the High Court.
Ow, who is also known as Ow-Yong Siew Hoe, had admitted raping a a 35-year-old woman who had sought help from him to get rid of "ghosts" in her flat in February 2014.
He persuaded her to go to his flat to collect items to protect her against supernatural beings. At his flat, she became drowsy after drinking the "holy water" he had given her.
When she later confronted him for what he had done, he told her he had been forced to rape her.
He told her that he had fought with the "ghosts" in her flat and hurt them. He said she or her husband would have died if he had not used his sperm to save the ghosts.
After the rape, the woman felt suicidal and showed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.