An Indian cook was sentenced on 9th April 2018 to eight years’ jail and 12 strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty for sexually assaulting a teenage boy, then 13, who lived in the same housing estate in Yishun.
Samsugani Jahir Hussain, 46, pleaded guilty to one charge of performing oral sex on the young boy, in the male toilet at a coffee shop in Yishun Street 22 at 9:55 pm on 25th November 2016.
A second charge of molesting the young boy, who is now 15, on the same night was taken into account for sentencing.
The young boy cannot be named to protect his identity,
Samsugani worked at a food stall at Northpoint Bizhub, near his home at Yishun Street 22, which was also where the boy lived.
The two befriended each other around August 2016 when they knocked into each other at their residential area. Sometimes, Samsugani would initiate conversations with the boy and teased him about his weight.
A few days before the incident, Samsugani saw the boy on his bicycle nearby his home. He invited the boy to his flat, claiming to be able to help him lose weight through a massage but the boy refused.
On 25 November 2016, at about 9:00 pm, the boy went to a bicycle shop in the vicinity to inflate his punctured tire but was greeted with a closed shop.
On his way home, he met Samsugani, sitting on a public bench. Samsugani told the boy that he knew of another bicycle shop in the area.
After accompanying the victim for a short while, Samsugani gave the boy $2 to pay for his tire. The boy rejected the money but Samsugani insisted. Samsugani then proceeded to instruct the boy to meet him near a MacDonald’s outlet when he was done.
Shortly after they parted ways, the boy decided to return the $2 to Samsugani. He met Samsugani near the outlet and tried to return the money but Samsugani insisted that the boy keep the money.
Samsugani then tried to persuade the boy to go to his rented unit but the latter declined.
Both then headed in the direction of the boy’s home when they passed by a coffeeshop.
Samsugani then told the boy to go to the coffeshop’s toilet but the boy rejected.
The boy eventually entered the cubicle after Samsugani’s incessant pestering. Samsugani slipped into the cubicle before the boy had a chance to lock the cubicle’s door.
Samsugani then pulled down the boy’s shorts and underwear before performing oral sex on him. The boy was stunned and did not know how to react.
Samsugani performed the act for around 10 to 15 seconds, stopping only after the boy shouted. The boy then dressed himself and asked Samsugani to open the door. He dashed home after the incident.
Upset by the encounter, the boy washed up and cried profusely after reaching home. He was too embarrassed to disclose the incident to his mother. He confided in his grandfather on his ordeal later, who then called the police.
In mitigation, Samsugani’s lawyer, Criminal Legal Aid Scheme-assigned Sujatha Selvakumar, said her client is married with two children in India and is the sole supporter of his disabled wife.
Samsugani had been working to ensure that his 20-year-old daughter had a sufficient dowry, but has been unable to do so since he was prosecuted, Sujatha added.
Noting that her client has “not had any homosexual relationships previously”, the lawyer added that Samsugani had not prearranged to meet the boy and suffered from a “momentary lapse of judgement” when he committed the offence. Sujatha asked for the minimum mandatory sentence of eight years’ jail and 12 strokes of the cane.
As Samsugani had pleaded guilty and spared the boy the trauma of having to recall the offences, Deputy Public Prosecutor Winston Man did not object to the minimum mandatory sentence.
“The prosecution is also mindful of the fact that the accused did not use threats or violence on the victim, nor was there any discernible element of abuse of trust or significant premeditation,” he said.
Samsugani could have been jailed up to 20 years and caned a maximum of 12 strokes for the offence.
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