A Malaysian storekeeper was jailed for six months on Monday for molesting a seven-year-old girl twice at a public area.
Lim Kok Leong admitted to touching the buttocks of the girl at Boon Lay Shopping Centre on Sept 21 last year, when she went to the shopping centre with her parents.
The young girl was looking at some lanterns hung outside a shop when Lim used his hand to touch her as he walked past her. She felt the touch but she preferred not to say anything, as she thought that it was accidental.
The 29-year-old molester observed her from a distance to see how she reacted. But when he realized that the girl didn't say anything to her parents, he repeated the same thing. This time he touched her buttocks once before walking away.
The girl immediately told her mom about Lim's intention and her mother shouted at Lim to stop. The girl's parents chased him but he managed to get away.
Lim was arrested a month later after an extensive police operation, but he was soon released on bail.
This year, while he was out on bail, Lim molested a 14-year-old girl in a lift at Boon Lay Avenue on Feb 11. This second molestation charge was also taken into consideration in the sentencing.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Lai said that Lim committed the offence at 8.30 pm in a brazen manner, "in full view of others". He has requested the court for a minimum of four months jail. But, Lim pleaded for a lighter sentence, saying that he admits his mistake and wanted to go home as his father has been hospitalised.
However, the District Judge Lim Tse Haw agreed with the prosecution and said that there were several provoking factors in the case, especially the girl's age.
Lim had a possibility of being jailed for up to five years, fined, caned or received any combined punishment for molesting a girl under 14 years old. The court backdated his sentence to Feb 13.