Repeat sex offender gets 10 years' preventive detention

32-year-old with history of molesting women targeted victim shortly after release from jail

A recalcitrant sex offender with a history of trespassing into women's toilets to molest his victims was back to his old ways just two months after his release from prison in May.

For his latest offence, stall assistant Razali Abdullah, 32, was sentenced to 10 years' preventive detention with three strokes of the cane yesterday. Preventive detention, which can last seven to 20 years, is for repeat offenders. They must serve the full sentence with no reduction for good behaviour.

Razali, who pleaded guilty on Nov 24 to criminal trespass and outraging a woman's modesty, has been in and out of jail four times since 2003. Three of the earlier jail terms were for similar sexual crimes.

The court heard that on July 14, Razali went to community and lifestyle centre Our Tampines Hub to look for "girls".

He spotted a 47-year-old woman entering a toilet on the fourth storey at around 9am and decided to follow her.

Deputy Public Prosecutor James Chew said: "The accused entered the female toilet about two minutes later, intending to have sex with the victim, whether or not she consented, as the victim was the type of girl he liked."

The woman, who worked at Our Tampines Hub, was stepping out of a cubicle when Razali pounced on her. He covered her mouth with one hand and held the back of her head with the other to restrain her.

The struggling woman later managed to break free. She ran towards the toilet door, opened it and shouted at her colleague for help when she saw the man standing outside. But Razali caught up with his victim and dragged her back inside.

She continued struggling before telling Razali that she would not report him to the police if he released her. She sprinted back to her workplace when he relented.

The woman's colleague stopped Razali as he was walking out of the toilet and took him to the security office. The police were alerted and officers arrested Razali.

The woman went to Changi General Hospital later that day. She was found to have injuries including an abrasion on her forehead and a bruise on her arm.

Before handing out the sentence yesterday, District Judge Jasvender Kaur said: "This sort of offence is every female's worst nightmare. He presents a significant danger to women and his liberty must be taken away for a substantial period."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 16, 2017, with the headline 'Repeat sex offender gets 10 years' preventive detention'. Print Edition | Subscribe