Sri Lankan male faces jail term with cane for performing sexual act without consent on male tenant


A father of three was sentenced to six years of imprisonment, including three strokes of the cane on Thursday, August 23 for performing a sexual act on his male tenant, who was sleeping at the time of the offence.

The convict, who is originally from Sri Lanka and was working as a project engineer, married a Singaporean woman. He pleaded guilty in June to one count of non-consensual sexual penetration. During the hearing, district judge Kessler Soh told the 38-year-old accused, Waduge Buddhika Upashantha Fernando that what he had done with the male tenant, was 'abhorrent.'

The court documents stated that the crime took place at Kim Keat Avenue flat in Toa Payoh, where the accused and his family lived. But the reports did not reveal the location of Buddhika's family at the time of the offence.

However, the court heard that the 28-year-old Malaysian victim, who is a professional cook, started to live in the unit for about four months before the incident. He had a very little interaction with other members of the household as the unnamed tenant has a work shift from 9 am to 11 pm.

Marshall Lim, the Deputy Public Prosecutor told the court that on November 10, 2017, the victim returned from work at around 11.30 pm and one and half hours later he fell asleep in his room. Buddhika came home at around 3 am and before leaving for a nearby market, he felt an urge to have sex with another man.

The Malaysian man woke up almost 10 minutes after Buddhika started to perform the sexual act on him. DPP Lim added that when the victim realized what was happening he kicked and yelled at the accused, who later left the flat.

Almost one hour later, when the victim realized the seriousness of the offence he filed a police complaint against the accused.

During the hearing, Lim urged for at least eight years of jail term with four strokes of the cane. He told judge Soh that when the penetrative sexual assault involves the landlord and tenants, it will cause grave public disquiet as both the accused and the victim share same premises.

However, the defence lawyer Amolat Singh sought for a five-year jail sentence for his client and told the judge that Buddhika did not use any violence or any force. He said that his client did not even use any kind of drug to overcome the victim's resistance or to wash off the memories and there is no proof that the Malaysian man has suffered from grave psychological or emotional trauma.