Retired man jailed for molesting landlady's eight-year-old granddaughter

SINGAPORE - A retired man who accepted a friend's offer to rent a room in her Hougang flat ended up molesting the woman's eight-year-old granddaughter.

The 68-year-old man was jailed for a year and eight months on Thursday (Aug 2) after pleading guilty to one count of outraging the child's modesty.

A second molestation charge involving the same girl was considered during sentencing.

The man cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the child's identity.

The court heard that the man and the girl's grandmother were acquainted after they attended community activities organised by the Residents' Committee near her home.

The woman knew the man was divorced in 2013 and was looking for a place to stay. She offered to rent him a room in her flat, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Lai.

The girl stayed at the flat between 1pm and 8pm after classes every day and got to know the man, said Mr Lai.

Sometime in 2016, the grandmother went Tan Tock Seng Hospital for a check-up accompanied by the child and the man, the court heard.

She asked him to take care of the girl while she was in a consultation room but the man took her to a handicapped toilet and molested her.

He only stopped when she pushed his hand away.

The man told her not to tell anyone about the incident before they left the toilet but it came to light when the girl later told her school counsellor. Court documents did not state when she did so.

The counsellor alerted the child's parents and the school principal. The girl's mother told the police on April 6 this year, the court heard.

District Judge Eddy Tham said that the man had committed a "despicable act" when he molested the girl.

Offenders convicted of molesting a child below 14 years old can be jailed for up to five years and fined or caned.

The man cannot be caned as he is over 50 years old.