Recalcitrant paedophile gets 12 years' preventive detention

Amir Hussain
·Senior Reporter
·3 min read
Person's hands holding prison bars. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
Person's hands holding prison bars. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Barely a year after he was released from 10 years of preventive detention for molesting six children, a serial paedophile went back to his old ways, a court heard.

Salim Abdul Rahman, 61, followed a primary school pupil off a bus, offered her pocket money and led her to a staircase before touching the 10-year-old victim’s chest.

At the State Courts on Monday (18 January), Salim was handed 12 years of preventive detention, which is a sentencing option meant to protect the public from recalcitrant offenders, who must serve a prison term of between seven and 20 years in full with no reduction for good behaviour.

Tailed victim from bus stop

Salim, who has a string of conviction for crimes such as theft, robbery and drug use, was handed a preventive detention sentence in December 2009. He was released from prison on 27 December 2019.

On 1 October last year, Salim saw the victim in her school uniform on board a bus. At the time, he was working as a cleaner at a mall.

At about 1.45pm, Salim noticed that he and the victim had got off the bus at the same stop. He decided to approach the victim as he had “evil thoughts of doing something bad” and wanted himself to “feel good”, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Colin Ng.

He went up to her at a sheltered walkway, touched her shoulder, and asked her where she lived and which school she attended. The victim ignored him.

Undeterred, he gave her $1.50, held her right hand and told her to follow him to his house.

At the bottom of a flight of stairs at about 2pm, the victim told the culprit that she wanted to return home for lunch. Salim then put his left hand over her shoulders and touched her once on her left chest.

The victim ran back home and cried. Her grandmother brought her to a police station at about 3.30pm and Salim was arrested at about 8pm the same day.

A government psychiatrist found that Salim had a high risk of reoffending. The culprit also did not suffer from any psychiatric disorder or illness, and he was not of unsound mind.

In asking for the sentence that was meted out, DPP Ng said, among other things, that Salim “is a habitual criminal exhibiting a wide range of criminality” and that he “is a menace to society and poses a high degree of danger to the community at large”.

The prosecutor said, “The facts paint a disconcerting picture of an offender who displayed paedophilic sexual interest. He had targeted the young victim by employing a strikingly similar modus operandi as the offences that he had committed in 2009...the victims were on their way back home from school, the accused had approached the victims and led them to a secluded spot, and the accused had offered them pocket money.”

The maximum punishment for using criminal force to outrage the modesty of a child below 14 is five years’ jail along with a fine, as well as caning for male offenders below 50.

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