Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Trainee teacher jailed for underage sex offences

By Angela Lim – December 29th, 2010

A 23-year-old trainee teacher pleads guilty to having underage sex with two young girls. (AFP file photo)

Yet another member of the teaching profession has been convicted of sexual offences.

Aaron Kok Chun Cheong, 23, a trainee teacher, pleaded guilty to two counts of sex with two underaged girls on Tuesday, according to a Channel NewsAsia report.

His lawyer, Amolat Singh, told a District Court Kok committed the offences between September 2007 and April 2008 when he was a full-time national serviceman.

He invited his first victim, a 13-year-old girl, to his flat in 2007 just one year after meeting on an Internet chatroom. The pair had sex and did not contact each other after that.

His crime was only discovered when the girl was warded in the National University Hospital (NUH) on July 15 in 2008, following complaints of stomach pains and vomiting. She was pregnant and told the police she had sex with several men. After her abortion on July 31, tests indicated Kok was not the foetus’ biological father.

Just a month before, another 15-year-old girl told the police she had consensual sex with Kok on three different occasions between April 20 and May 31, 2008. The first offence was committed at West Mall shopping centre in a handicapped persons toilet.

Kok pleaded for a lighter sentence, saying he was a first-time offender and did not intend to target his victims. Mr Amolat, who said Kok will be sacked from his position, added, “They initiated and actively sought to have sexual relations with him.”

Mr Amolat also revealed, Kok would need to pay roughly S$60,000 worth of liquidated damages for breaching his contract with the National Institute of Education (NIE).

Although Kok could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined, he was jailed 15 months for carnal connection.

Last week, disgraced MOE scholar, Jonathan Wong, was expelled from the University of York in the United Kingdom after pleading guilty to 17 charges of possessing child pornography videos.

Wong is sentenced to a six-month imprisonment sentence suspended for two years – which means he will not be jailed if he does not break the law during that period.

The York Crown Court also ordered for Wong to be listed on the sex offender registry for seven years after eight months’ supervision. He is also disqualified from working with children.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

‘Sleeping girls’ molester in school nabbed

By Kai Fong – December 3rd, 2010

Police have arrested a 23-year-old student believed to be linked to a series of molest cases at a tertiary institution in Ang Mo Kio.

Dubbed the “sleeping girls” molester, the Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) student allegedly prowled the campus library, preying only on unsuspecting students who had fallen asleep at their study desks or corners, reported The Straits Times (ST).

He would allegedly approach them from the back and stroke their thighs, legs or backs, fleeing when the victims woke up.

Preliminary investigations revealed that he is believed to have molested at least four NYP students, with two incidents taking place last month.

Police arrested the suspect at his residence in Bukit Batok Street 31 on Wednesday.

Among the items seized from his home was stolen lingerie, which did not appear to belong to any of the women he is believed to have molested.

While it is not known whether the suspect is still attending classes, the school has arranged for the affected students to receive counselling.

“We are also in touch with them and their families to provide any further support and assistance,” said a spokesman from NYP, adding that it would be “inappropriate” to comment further as the case was still under investigation.

All 30 students that ST spoke to did not know about the arrest. Many were shocked to know that the molest incidents happened in public view in the school library, which they say is almost always full until it closes each weeknight at 9pm.

The library has two closed circuit television screens at the librarian’s lobby that broadcast footage of certain areas in both the lower and upper floors of the library.

But some say that they are not surprised.

“The resting corners and the cafĂ© on the lower floor are safe because the concept is very open, but I can’t say the same for the upper floor.”

“It is so crowded, he could easily have committed the act and disappeared,” said first-year manufacturing engineering student Muhammad Shakil, 17.

Several parents of NYP students have also expressed worry over the incidents.

“The school needs to step up their security. As parents, we trust them to be responsible for the students when they are in school,” said Madam Cindy Teo, 47, whose daughter is a student in NYP.

If found guilty of outrage of modesty, the suspect could be jailed up to two years, fined and caned.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tighter screening for teaching scholarships: MOETighter screening for teaching scholarships: MOE

By Faris – November 24th, 2010

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has revoked the scholarship given to undergraduate Jonathan Wong, 23, after he was caught in possession of hardcore child pornography videos in his computer in March this year.

The Straits Times (ST) reported that the decision to evoke the scholarship comes after the student had “committed serious criminal offences, and pleaded guilty to the charges against him”.

Wong, a third-year history undergraduate in the University of York pleaded guilty last Tuesday to 17 charges of downloading child pornography videos between July 15, 2008 and March 19, 2009 featuring girls as young as 6-years-old.

The Ministry will also tighten its processes which require schools to provide information on specific “behavioural problems” of potential scholarship holders which may impinge on their selection as future teachers.

In the case of Wong who was awarded the Teaching Scholarship (Overseas) in 2006, MOE said it reviewed the required documents and testimonials written by teachers from his secondary school and junior college.

However, it was not mentioned in those documents that he had been publicly caned when he was a Secondary 3 student at Chinese High School, which is now part of Hwa Chong Institution (HCI), after he was caught peeping in a women’s toilet.

MOE said the teachers had excluded this incident from his testimonials “as they thought that he had overcome this errant behaviour after professional help”.

According to a HCI spokesman, after Wong was punished, “he received counseling and responded well to the professional help”.

He subsequently did well and did not behave inappropriately the following year or while in junior college. The spokesman added, “His teachers thus thought he had learnt from his mistake.”

Since his scholarship has been revoked, Wong will have to pay liquidated damages in accordance with his scholarship agreement. This amount includes tuition fees at the University of York range from £11,300 (S$23,500) to £14,850 a year for those enrolled this year, and living expenses.

Based on the current MOE guidelines, applicants for teaching scholarships have to submit their academic and co-curricular activity record, school testimonials, and a written statement giving insights into their character, abilities and suitability for teaching.

Applicants will also be screened for criminal records while those shortlisted will then undergo further evaluation including psychometric assessments and interviews.

After Wong was arrested, police discovered graphic images and videos, some of which had audio and lasted over an hour long, on his computer. About 50 videos were found in which 25 were rated in some of the highest categories of hardcore pornography.

Wong is currently out on bail but his sentencing is scheduled for Dec 13. Wong can be jailed for up to five years.

Principals and teachers shared mixed reviews on the Ministry’s decision to tighten its selection and screening process for teaching scholarship holders.

Victoria Junior College principal, Chan Poh Meng, told ST that when teachers write testimonials for students, they are making a judgment call.

“They have to decide what is important to include, so good or not-so-good behaviour should be included. That has always been the expectation,” he said.

But JC teachers who have written testimonials for students say that the issue is not so clear-cut.

31-year-old teacher, Mr I. See said, “It’s good MOE is tightening procedures but can these be effectively executed? After all, teachers don’t want to jeopardize the chances of their students getting scholarships.”

Thank you for the incredible, amazing response to Yahoo!’s Fit-To-Post blog so far. We continue to welcome your views and comments but please don’t abuse this opportunity. Be nice. Be courteous. Be sensible. Respect the feelings of others and refrain from using any kind of offensive language. And in the spirit of great conversations, please don’t stray from the topic at hand.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

3 more charged with Downtown East murder

By Shaffiq Alkhatib | Posted: 19 November 2010 1653 hrs

SINGAPORE: Three more youths have been charged on Friday in court with the recent Downtown East murder.

They are Chong Rui Hong and Ng Wei Lun, both 18 years old and 20-year-old Jason Chew Wei Beng.

Together with at least seven other young men aged between 16 and 21 years old, it's believed the three were part of an unlawful assembly that attacked Darren Ng Wei Jie between 5.30pm and 6pm on October 30.

The 19-year-old Republic Polytechnic student, who was reportedly hacked with choppers, died in Changi General Hospital about five hours later.

The three young men who appeared in court earlier, looked nervous before the judge.

None of their friends and family members was present in the courtroom.

The three will be remanded at the Central Police Division and will be back in court next Friday.

Court papers also revealed the names of two other alleged accomplices.

They are 19-year-old Stillwell Ong Keat Pin and 18-year-old Ho Wei Quan.

MediaCorp understands that they haven't been charged yet.

Besides the three, five other youths have already been charged with the murder.

If convicted of the crime, the eight youths will face the death penalty.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Teen slashed in Ang Mo Kio

Police have arrested a 17-year-old boy who slashed a youth in Ang Mo Kio on Thursday.

According to The New Paper (TNP), two youths got into a loud dispute outside a 24-hour fast-food restaurant at Block 448, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10.

After shoving each other, one of them took out a knife and slashed the other on the right shoulder in front of shocked patrons.

The 17-year-old victim, who left a blood trail where the attack took place, was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

Madam Lim, 60, a newspaper vendor, told TNP, “I saw the victim getting into the ambulance. His arm, from his shoulder to his elbow was covered in blood.”

Residents said that two groups of youths were shouting at each other before the incident.

According to police, the victim and attacker are acquainted. The spokesman told TNP: “Preliminary investigations suggest the incident is not gang related.”

Some people Yahoo! Singapore spoke to were shocked when told about the latest slashing.

Said events manager Eric Tan, 36, “It sounds like slashing is becoming the norm for youngsters these days. Hopefully the police will come down hard on these teenagers.”

Salesman Tony Soo, 28, agreed. “Teenagers these days are badly behaved. For this incident to happen in broad daylight is a big concern. What are their parents doing? Can you imagine what would have happened if there were kids around the area when the slashing took place?”

The Ang Mo Kio slashing is the third incident after a teen was slashed to death at Downtown East and six people were involved in the Bukit Panjang clash.
This blog documents the silly mistakes made by youths in Singapore.By committing crimes in a moment of rashness they lose years of their youth behind bars