Picture for representation
Picture for representation Reuters

A Singapore court has sent a former teacher to jail for 18 months after he was found guilty of molesting a seven-year-old girl at an enrichment centre. The teacher was also due to be caned but was instead awarded an additional six weeks in jail considering his elderly age.

The Straits Times reported that the 66-year-old Briton identified as Ian Lewis had admitted rubbing the girl at the centre in the Orchard area. While the first incident took sometime between Sept 16, 2014, and mid-December 2014, another case of molestation of an 8-year-old girl in March 2015 was also taken into consideration.

It was also learnt in the court that Lewis was working at the centre since 2012. He came to Singapore in 2010. His first victim used to attend his weekly classes as she was enrolled with the centre from November 2013 to December 2014. After the initial investigation, it was revealed that while taking his classes, Lewis used to sit beside the girl and molest her, on a number of occasions, by putting his hands under the table. However, the incidents were under wraps as the young girl was scared and did not tell anyone fearing scolding from Lewis. It was only while watching an episode of Crime Watch, where it showed a tutor molesting a student, that she told her mother about her predicament.

A police report was registered on 12 July 2015 by the mother, who in turn learnt that Lewis had been suspended for molesting another young girl.

The plaintiff's lawyer, while asking for a suitable punishment, cited that Lewis was in a position of trust and authority along with the victim's tender age. The large age gap and repeated incidents of touching the girl's private parts were taken into consideration.

In Singapore, a person can land in jail for up to five years and receive fine and caning for molesting anyone who is under 14.