A 49-year-old cleaner originally sentenced to 12 years in jail and 18 strokes of the cane for raping and robbing a woman was yesterday given an additional year in jail, in lieu of caning.
Prison doctors who examined Riduan Rantau in March had certified him to be medically unfit to undergo caning as he has a heart condition known as mitral valve prolapse.
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.
Riduan was sentenced in August last year for a brazen rape and robbery at the staircase of a Housing Board multi-storey carpark. He had continued his sexual attack even when two residents passed him as they were walking down the stairs after parking their cars.
At around 8pm on Oct 13, 2014, Riduan was sniffing glue when he saw the 34-year-old woman, also a cleaner, drinking by herself at the void deck of a block of flats in the Queenstown area.
He ambushed her as she was throwing away her empty beer cans, and dragged her to the staircase of the carpark.
As they struggled on the steps, he rifled through her pockets and took $8.80 and various cards. He then forced himself on her.
During the struggle, a 27-year- old resident who had parked his car on the second level heard shouts for help. As he came down the stairs, he saw Riduan trying to kiss the woman, who was resisting.
He called the police immediately after coming out of the carpark and also took a photo of the rapist and his victim, which he later showed to the officers who arrived.
Based on the photo, police officers spotted Riduan and questioned him, but he denied he was at the scene.
The officers let him go after recording his particulars as there were insufficient grounds to arrest him.
Riduan was arrested the next morning, after the police viewed footage from surveillance cameras in the carpark, and interviewed the victim at her home.
Of the 18 strokes handed down by the High Court last year, six were for rape and 12 for robbery.
Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Christine Liu sought the maximum 12 months' jail in lieu of caning, pointing to the brazen way he had raped and robbed the woman in a public place.
His lawyer, Mr Tang Jin Sheng, assigned under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, asked for three months' jail in lieu of the six strokes and for the 12 strokes to be remitted, considering the low level of violence and the amount of money he took.